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Letters to the editor

Liza Yambao

I have read several articles of Dana Easter’s comments in the last couple of days and it made me sick to my stomach to see a person in her position stoop so low. She could not prove her case in court, but she is so fierce in making her case in the press. Her comments are slanderous and as an officer of the court, she should know better. Is it because she thinks that she can say whatever she wants to since she does not have to prove any of it? Or is she trying to redeem herself by helping Clune and Wood extort money from Mr. Bryant? I have taken excerpts from her interviews and compared it against the evidence and the voluminous court documents. In several instances, what she had said appears to be outright lies. …”In a wide-ranging interview, Dana Easter, one of the prosecutors working for the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said the case could have been proved by the woman’s injuries from a ‘violent sex assault,’ the NBA star’s own statement to police and three witnesses who saw the woman the night of the alleged rape.” This is a direct contradiction to what Ms. Bakke had said at the June 22 RSL hearing after Dr. Johnson had testified: “MS. BAKKE: Judge, my only point was that if in fact you were to rule that all of the rape shield evidence were going to come in in this case, I’m thinking the prosecution is going to sit down and re-evaluate the quality of its case and its chances of a successful prosecution.”Even Judge Gannett disagrees with Ms. Easter: “Almost all of the evidence introduced at the preliminary hearing permits multiple inferences which, when viewed either independently or collectively, and upon reasonable inference, do not support a finding of probable cause. Simply put, this Court could not make a finding of probably cause in the instant matter absent reliance upon those inference supportive of the People’s case.” The prosecution’s case did not improve at all since the October preliminary hearing. “The then-19-year-old woman didn’t know who Kobe Bryant was when his reservation was made, Easter said, and only went to his room to get his autograph for her friend and fellow worker who is a basketball fan.” This is a direct contradiction of Detective Winter’s testimony at the preliminary hearing last October: “Q. And did the victim know, when the name Kobe Bryant was mentioned, that this was, in fact, an LA Lakers basketball player? A. That’s what she stated. Q. Did she indicate what her feelings were about that, Kobe Bryant showing up to The Lodge and Spa where she worked? A. She stated she was excited that he was coming, and wanted to meet him.” “Sexual-assault experts were going to testify that the woman had severe genital lacerations, including what’s called “battering ram” injuries that are found in violent rapes.” This is contradicted by an interview of Baden to the NY Daily News: “‘The nature of the injuries doesn’t tell you if the sex was consensual,’ Baden said. ‘It becomes a he said, she said. It becomes a jury question: Who do you believe?'” Baden was not the only one with doubts. He said two nurses who examined the accuser the day after the encounter told him they could not say whether the injuries were the result of a rape. “In my discussion with them, together with the DAs, they could not tell,” Baden said.” It’s curious that the prosecution filed a motion to dismiss after the defense filed their own motion to dismiss because the prosecution withheld information that could prove Kobe Bryant was innocent. “Bryant’s attorney’s remark that the woman had had sex with ‘three men in three days’ was a sound bite that has never been proved true, Easter said. There is no mysterious ‘Mr. X’ who had sex with the woman in the 15 hours after she was with Bryant and before her rape exam. In fact, there was no sperm or semen found inside the woman, and that found on her yellow underwear was because she had worn them after a consensual sexual liaison on June 18.” The June 22 transcript was very evident in depicting Mr. X. The prosecution had no one to rebut the defense theory. Dr. Lee did not testify even if he was present in court. On Aug. 26, the prosecution challenged the veracity of the defense DNA evidence: “THE COURT: Well, let me ask you my next question. And that is, do your experts say that they believe that, who are familiar with the way these computer runs are generated? MS. EASTER: They do. THE COURT: And who is that? MS. EASTER: Judge, I do not – I cannot at this time reveal who we are consulting with. THE COURT: Then I can’t evaluate it. MS. EASTER: I understand.”Did the prosecution have a secret panel of DNA experts? And why did they drop their motion for a 702 hearing? “The two guests described the woman as ‘bubbly and excited’ to meet Bryant. That changed dramatically after her time with him. She came out into the lobby, ‘made a beeline’ to leave, grabbed her purse and left, Easter said. Pietrack caught up with her.” Did we forget the night auditor who said the accuser looked fine and continued to finish her work? Weren’t there computer reports to prove that the accuser did finish balancing her work? “Jury selection was going well, and prosecutors were confident they would find a good panel.” If jury selection was going so well, why did the prosecution ask the judge to dismiss all jurors who answered that they thought Kobe Bryant was “innocent”? Vail Daily, Aug. 31: “Deputy District Attorney Ingrid Bakke asked that any prospective juror who says they already think Bryant is definitely or probably not guilty, before hearing the evidence, should be challenged and probably dismissed. Bryant’s defense lawyer Harold Haddon said the opposite must also be applied – that any prospective juror who thinks Bryant is guilty should also be dismissed.” What happened to the “presumption of innocence”? I am guessing that there were too many who answered this way and it scared the prosecution. I have heard several lawyers and media personalities who have commented on the case. A good number of the statements and opinions have been skewed, intentionally or otherwise. It is unfortunate that those who have not followed the case closely are going to be misled by remarks that appear to mischaracterize the facts. Kobe Bryant is an innocent man and until someone proves that he is guilty, he will remain innocent of this charge. Liza Yambao Los Angeles Vail, Colorado


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