Lakers' Bryant Faces Accusation
Colo. Authorities Could Charge Star With Felony Sexual Assault
By Greg Sandoval
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 7, 2003; Page D01
Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard Kobe Bryant could face felony sexual assault charges after a woman accused him of sexual misconduct during an encounter at a hotel in Edwards, Colo., last Monday, police said.
The woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, filed a complaint with Eagle County authorities on Tuesday. Bryant, 24, turned himself in to the Eagle County Sheriff's Detention Facility and posted a $25,000 bond Friday, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
After a series of interviews and a review of the physical evidence, investigators met with representatives for District Attorney Mark Hurlbert and concluded they had enough evidence for the felony sexual assault count, the sheriff's office said in a statement.
Hurlbert told the Associated Press last night he hadn't made a decision on whether to file charges and had not yet seen the arrest report.
He said the sheriff's office asked a judge for an arrest warrant instead of requesting one through his office, the usual practice.
Bryant stayed last week at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, approximately 100 miles west of Denver, a hotel manager confirmed.
"During the investigation, Bryant was cooperative with investigators and remains cooperative with authorities," the sheriff's office said.
Judge Russell Granger ordered the case sealed.
The Lakers also issued a statement from General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
"These allegations are completely out of character of the Kobe Bryant we know," the statement read. "For the seven years he's been with us he has been one of the finest young men we've known and a wonderful asset to our team and community.
"However, since this is a legal matter being handled by the authorities in Colorado, we must refrain from further comment at this time."
Calls to Bryant's Denver-based lawyers and Los Angeles agent were not returned last night.
Bryant, 6 feet 6 and 220 pounds, married Vanessa Laine in April 2001. She gave birth to their first child in January.
Last season, Bryant was second in the league in scoring, averaging 30 points per game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.