Detective tells in detail rape accusations against Bryant

By Staff Writer
October 16, 2003

Phildelphia Inquier/KRT

The Colorado woman who said she was raped by Kobe Bryant told police the basketball star bent her over a chair and assaulted her while she sobbed and told him to stop, a detective testified on Thursday.

“You’re not going to tell anyone about this, right?” Bryant said as his hands gripped her throat, the teenager told police.

The 19-year-old woman’s account of what happened on June 30 at the posh hotel where she worked was laid out in graphic detail by Eagle County Sheriff’s Detective Doug Winters. She was not in the courtroom.

But the much-anticipated hearing came to an abrupt halt when Bryant’s lead attorney Pamela Mackey, dropped a bombshell by asking whether the victim’s injuries were “consistent with a person who had sex with three different men in three days.”

Before Winters could answer, Judge Frederick Gannett ordered the lawyers behind closed doors. The hearing resumes next Wednesday.

Through it all, Bryant, 25, sat expressionless. He contends the sex was consensual. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for life.

“The testimony given by the detective was very damning to Kobe,” said former Denver District Attorney Norm Early. “Most first-time lovers don’t have sex over the top of a chair for five minutes.”

In another potentially damning revelation, Winters said investigators found blood on the hem of Bryant’s shirt that matched the alleged victim’s DNA.

Most legal experts expected that the L.A. Lakers’ star guard would skip the hearing and head straight to trial rather than allow prosecutors to lay out their case publicly for the first time.

Instead, Bryant’s legal team launched an early attack on the evidence after Gannett rejected a request to compel the woman to testify.

Excited at first

Under questioning from prosecutor Gregg Crittenden, Winters recounted the woman’s tale before a packed courtroom.

Nervously consulting his notebook, the small-town cop said the woman admitted that she was excited when she learned Bryant using the name Javier Rodriguez was coming to the posh Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in nearby Edwards. She said she escorted Bryant and his two bodyguards to room 35 at 10 p.m.

Bryant, who is married, flirted with her, and she agreed to come back to his room, Winters said.

About 15 minutes later, the woman returned _ using a back stairwell to sneak past the bodyguards _ and took Bryant on a brief tour of the resort during which they passed bellhop Bobby Pietrack, Winters said.

“He (Bryant) asked her if she had a boyfriend,” the detective said. “She said she didn’t.”

The woman said she and Bryant began making out when they got back to his room – but she declined his offer to join him in the hot tub. When she tried to leave, Bryant allegedly barred her way.

“He began kissing her, kissing her mouth, kissing her neck, which she agreed to,” Winters said.

But when Bryant began groping her, the woman said, she tried to flee. “She stated, `He grabbed me with both hands around the neck,’ ” Winters said. “She was afraid that he was going to choke her.”

Winters said the woman told him Bryant turned her around, pushed her against a chair, pulled down her panties and sexually assaulted her. He said the woman said no twice but he ignored her pleas.

The incident lasted just five minutes, and when it was over, the woman said, Bryant made her kiss his genitals, the detective said.

Defense on attack

Winters said the woman told Pietrack what happened before leaving work and reported the rape to cops the next day. A nurse who examined the woman that day found evidence of vaginal tearing, he said.

Later, Winters retracted his earlier statement that the woman had shown Bryant a tattoo on her back.

Mackey also scoffed at the evidence of a struggle that prosecutors introduced, specifically a photo of the woman’s jaw with a dime-size bruise.

There was a loud gasp in the courtroom when Mackey blurted out the alleged victim’s name, three times in quick succession. She apologized, saying she would write a “big note” to remind herself not to use the name.

“Or I can just go get the muzzle,” a miffed Gannett said.

Posted to the web by Angelina Wagner

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