Bellman in Bryant case breaks silence |

Bellman in Bryant case breaks silence

EAGLE- The bellman who saw it all will tell most of it Thursday on national television.Bob Pietrack, the bellman who checked Bryant into the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera the night he allegedly raped an Eagle woman, granted his first television interview to ABC’s “Primetime Live.” It will air Thursday night.Pietrack said he promised Bryant’s accuser that he would make no public comment until the entire case was over. Now that it is, he says he’s free to tell his story. Throughout the case, he was one of the most sought-after interview subjects, but refused to talk.”Answers like ‘no comment’ and ‘no thank you’ are easy to remember,” Pietrack says now. “If you stick to the truth and ‘no comment,’ it keeps things much less complicated.”Pietrack was the last person to see Bryant’s accuser as she left to go to Bryant’s room in June, 2003. He was alsothe first person to see her after she emerged about 14 minutes later, looking disheveled and upset, he said. He said she was genuinely upset, as though something horrible had happened to her. He said the notion that Bryant’s accuser was faking is absurd.”No one can act that well,” he said. “It took several minutes after we were outside for her to tell me what had happened, in between crying episodes. She didn’t say a word to anyone or look at anyone until we were outside.”Pietrack said just a few steps outside the luxury hotel’s front door, she broke down and cried, sobbing as she told him what she says happened in Bryant’s room.”She kept saying ‘he choked me, he choked me,'” Pietrack said. “It took about 20 minutes for her to get through it because she’d start crying.”The wide-ranging interview deals with the demeanor of Bryant’s accuser after the incident, and what she and the other witnesses in the case went through at the hands of private investigators and the media. Pietrack also discusses sexual assault and awareness and the need to mentor young men about “the proper way to treat women. Physically abusing them or defaming them is not acceptable in our society.”I’m an advocate for sexual assault victims.”Pietrack also discusses how his friendship with Bryant’s accuser deteriorated to almost nothing.Pietrack finished his senior year and college basketball career at Fort Lewis College in Durango under the microscope of intense scrutiny by media and private investigators. One of Bryant’s private investigators handed him his subpoena on the sidelines prior to a Fort Lewis basketball game in Colorado Springs.Pietrack says he was offered tens of thousands of dollars for his story, but decided against taking the payoffs so he could first tell his story in a courtroom to open Bryant’s criminal trial. He was scheduled to be the lead-off witness. That trial was called off after Bryant’s accuser decided she couldn’t go through with testifying at the trial. She filed a civil suit against Bryant in federal court three weeks before the criminal trial was to begin. The civil suit was settled out of court.Vail, Colorado

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