Bryant prosecutor says threats number in the hundreds |

Bryant prosecutor says threats number in the hundreds

EAGLE – The man prosecuting Kobe Bryant on a charge of sexual assault said he has received hundreds of threats, mostly by telephone, since the basketball star was arrested.

Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert dismissed most of the threats as the benign rantings of overzealous basketball fans.

However, authorities were planning extra security for Bryant’s preliminary hearing Thursday.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has been investigating threats against the District Attorney’s Office and others in the case since July.

Bryant, 25, is accused of raping a 19-year-old employee of a resort where the Los Angeles Laker guard was staying June 30 near Edwards.

Judge Fred Gannett has acknowledged receiving letters containing death threats, and two men have been charged with threatening the resort employee.

Patrick Graber, 31, a Swiss man living in California, was expected in court Monday on a charge of approaching Bryant’s security team offering to kill the woman for $3 million.

John W. Roche, 22, of Iowa City, Iowa, has pleaded innocent to telephoning a death threat to the woman’s home.

Sheriff Joe Hoy said he received two threatening letters within days of Bryant’s arrest, but nothing since. One letter went to his home.

Hoy said he learned from FBI officials that one came from a teenager “”who was just being a teenager” and the other was from a person “”who should have known better.”

Support Local Journalism