Kobe’s accuser insistent in first interview | VailDaily.com
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Kobe’s accuser insistent in first interview

Randy Wyrick and Matt Zalaznick

EAGLE ” The young woman who accused Kobe Bryant of raping her was direct when she told sheriff’s investigators what happened in Bryant’s hotel suite.

She also told them repeatedly the sex was not consensual.

“Last night I was at work and I was sexually assaulted,” she told investigators during a video-taped interview conducted the day after her encounter with Bryant at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera.

All criminal charges against Bryant were dropped on Sept. 1 when the young woman told prosecutors she wouldn’t testify. In documents released Friday by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, the young woman ” who has also filed a civil lawsuit against the NBA star ” said she told Bryant “no” several times during their encounter on June 30, 2003 and that Bryant heard her.

Det. Doug Winters asked the young woman how she knew Bryant heard her say “no.”

“Because every time I said no, he tightened his hold around me,” said the woman, who was then 19.

The young woman said Bryant invited her to his room, that they talked a while and that they were flirting while they toured the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera.

“I think for the most part I led him to believe that I wanted him to hug or kiss me,” she said.

She said she allowed him to hug and kiss her, but when he started groping her, she said “no.” She said at that point he became more rough, “jerked” her around and that his voice became deeper.

“He was groping me, I tried to leave, tried to break away, that’s when he grabbed my neck,” she said.

In a Nov. 17 supplemental report to the investigation, sheriff’s investigator Dan Loya said Bryant, during questioning, said the sex was the woman’s idea. Bryant knew she wanted sex, Loya said, because she gave Bryant “those eyes.”

The young woman told police she got a call from a travel agent at 4 p.m. ” the day Bryant arrived ” asking about a reservation made over the Internet for a Javier Rodriguez. The agent told the young woman the reservation was actually for Bryant.

Bryant arrived later and she showed the NBA star and his entourage to their rooms. Bryant asked the young woman to come back to his room, she said.

She waited five to 10 minutes before returning to his room the “back way,” she said.

She went through the employee cafeteria to avoid going through the lobby where Bryant’s bodyguards were, she said.

“Because I had a feeling that his bodyguards didn’t know I was going back to Mr. Bryant’s room,” she said. “Because (the bodyguards) wouldn’t let anybody really get close to Mr. Bryant and … he had asked me in person, in private when no one else was listening.”

After she returned to his room, she said, she showed Bryant the hotel’s spa, exercise room, outdoor pool and outdoor Jacuzzi. Once back in his room, she sat on the couch and he sat on a chair next to the couch, where they talked, she told investigators.

“Nothing was really happening, just chitchat,” she said. “He asked me if I would go in the Jacuzzi with him later.”

That, she said, is when she began to get nervous. The young woman said she stood up to leave and Bryant asked for a hug, then started to kiss her and that they kissed for a few minutes. During the kissing, he took off his pants, she said.

“I gave him a hug and he started kissing me and I let him kiss me,” she said. “And the kissing continued, then he took off his pants. And that’s when I started to back up and leave. And that’s when he started to choke me.”

The woman also told the investigators the encounter was consensual until he started groping her.

“Putting his hands on me, grabbing my butt, my chest,” she said. “Trying to lift up my skirt.”

By this point, she said she had only told Bryant that she “needed to leave.”

The first time she told him “no” was when, she said, he forced her over to either the couch or two chairs, turned her around so her back was to him, bent her over and lifted her skirt.

“At that point I was just kinda scared and said no a few times,” she said.

After having penetrated her and stopped, she said, Bryant told her not to tell anyone.

“I was scared that if I told him I was going to tell someone that he would do other things to scare me into not telling anybody, become more physical with me, choke me harder and hit me or something like that,” she said.

Earlier in the interview, Winters asked the young woman why she was still at work at 10 p.m., three hours after she was supposed to have finished her shift.

“Because I was excited to meet Kobe Bryant,” she answered.

Her former boyfriend, Matt Herr, said she called him at 12:30 a.m., about two hours after her encounter with Bryant.

Herr said he told the young woman to call the police or tell her parents. She just wanted to forget about it and that no one would believe her, Herr said.

A hotel employee, who saw the young woman after she left Bryant’s room, told investigators the young woman “did not look or sound as if there had been any problem.”

The employee, whose name is being withheld, also said Bryant came to the front desk several times during the night after the young woman left.

“He was not able to sleep,” the employee said. “He walked around the living room and watched TV with me at various times. He was always polite and friendly.”

The package of documents released Friday by the sheriff’s office ran 354 pages.

Randy Wyrick and Matt Zalaznick have been covering the Kobe Bryant case for the Vail Daily. They can be reached at rwyrick@vaildaily.com or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.

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