Bryant Trial Decision Could Come Monday
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant could learn as early as Monday whether he will stand trial on charges that he raped a 19-year-old hotel worker at a Colorado resort, according to published reports.
Judge Frederick Gannett has been reviewing graphic, as well as conflicting, evidence presented in his courtroom concerning a June 30 encounter between Bryant and his 19-year-old accuser.
Bryant, 25, has said the sex was consensual.
A relatively low threshold of proof is required at a preliminary hearing before a case proceeds to trial, the Associated Press points out. Some legal experts have opined that the case will most certainly move to trial.
Under Colorado law, evidence at such a hearing must be considered in a light most favorable to prosecutors.
Attorneys for Bryant, meanwhile, have attacked the woman’s credibility by questioning her sexual history and bringing out evidence indicating she had sex with another man shortly before the alleged attack.
Prosecutors — who questioned only one witness during the hearing that ended last Wednesday — tried to portray Bryant as an arrogant athlete who held the woman by the neck, bent her over a chair and raped her, concerned only that she might talk about the encounter.
If Judge Gannett decides to dismiss the charge, he will place the decision on hold for 10 days to provide prosecutors time to ask a district judge to take the case.
If a trial is ordered, Bryant’s attorneys could appeal, though legal experts consider that highly unlikely. If convicted, the NBA star could face anywhere from four years to life in prison.
This weekend, Bryant worked out Saturday with the Lakers’ younger players in El Segundo, Calif., but didn’t play in a Sunday night exhibition game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, reports AP.