D.R.: Duke close to Kobe’s case | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Duke close to Kobe’s case

Don Rogers

Wednesday’s inevitable dropping of all charges against those Duke lacrosse players comes uncomfortably close to the Kobe Bryant rape case in Eagle County.

The vogue thing for prosecutors and sexual assault victim advocates to play up is how so many rapes go unreported and unpunished because of the publicity that comes with the high-profile cases.

No doubt about that. Few of these crimes get reported anyway, and that’s a shame in itself. I agree.

But that fact doesn’t mean every claim of sexual assault is true. This is the dark underbelly of rape politics, which we saw play out in sometimes embarrassing fashion in Eagle County when a girl with ” sorry ” real issues accused a basketball star with ” sorry ” real issues of raping her after she sneaked over to his hotel room in Cordillera.

North Carolina’s top prosecutor, who took over the Duke case when the local district attorney lost his head forging ahead with a case lacking evidence, said the Duke athletes were innocent victims of a “tragic rush to accuse” by an overreaching district attorney, according to The Associated Press.

It was relatively clear to me that Eagle County prosecutors didn’t have much of a case against Kobe Bryant. As for Bryant, I have reasonable doubt he committed a crime, but he sure wasn’t innocent, either. We had a perfect storm encounter between two messed-up kids.

So the local girl’s maneuverings to land a fat payout served as poetic justice for Bryant, who has since regained most of his luster since the hotel moment in summer 2003. I hope he’s grown up since then, too.

The lesson? Sure, sexual assaults tragically go under reported and the cases are hard to prove. But the bet’s off with celebrity defendants. I think there is a rush to accuse that clouds the whole issue.

North Carolina’s case is just further proof of this. Eagle County’s authorities suffered from the same rush, I believe. The girl did them a favor by backing out of the case at the last possible moment.

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