Basketball Star Bryant Charged with Sexual Assault
Fri July 18, 2003 05:29 PM ET
EAGLE, Colo. (Reuters) - Basketball star Kobe Bryant was charged on Friday with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel concierge at a posh Colorado resort, a prosecutor said.
"After much deliberation charges were filed against Kobe Bryant. He was charged with one count of sexual assault," Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert told reporters outside the court house.
Bryant, a guard with the Los Angeles Lakers, was charged with Class 3 felony sexual assault which carries a potential sentence of from four years to life in prison if he is convicted.
In a statement, Bryant said, "I am innocent of the charges filed today. I did not assault the woman who is accusing me. I made the mistake of adultery. I have to answer to my wife and my God for my actions that night and I pray that both will forgive me."
Hurlbert, who declined to comment on the closely guarded facts in the case, said he believed he could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard for conviction in the United States.
Hurlbert also said the alleged victim wanted to maintain her privacy and did not want to speak with the media.
Bryant, 24, whose attorney was expected to comment later on Friday, is scheduled to appear in court in Colorado on Aug. 6, Hurlbert said.
Bryant's wife, Vanessa, in a separate statement, said, "I know that my husband has made a mistake -- the mistake of adultery. He and I will have to deal with that within our marriage and we will do so. He is not a criminal."
What a dumbass. His wife just had baby and he's messing around.