No decision in Bryant case until at least Friday |

No decision in Bryant case until at least Friday

The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, top, is shown Tuesday, July 8, 2003, in Edwards, Colo. To the locals, Edwards is the city on the hill. The spa at the center of the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case sits on a wooded mountainside above the blue-collar town that prefers solitude to the klieg-light glare that has arrived with dozens of reporters. (AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin)

Kobe Bryant’s fate will hang in the balance one day longer, and possibly more, the district attorney announced Wednesday.District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said no announcement would be made Thursday, and possibly not Friday, about whether he is charging the Los Angeles Lakers star.Hurlbert said that while the focus on the high profile case makes it seem like the investigation is moving slowly, the time frame really isn’t anything out of the ordinary.”We’re still reviewing the evidence and looking into the facts of the case,” he said.He dismissed notions that the decision is apparently taking a long time because the case is weak.”That’s not true,” Hurlbert said. “This not a long time for a decision on a sexual assault case. The length of time depends on the case. This is not out of the ordinary.”Hurlbert’s decision not to decide brings to 17 days the time since the Bryant, a five-time NBA All Star by the still tender age of 24, allegedly sexually assaulted a 19-year-old Eagle woman in the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera on the night of June 30. Bryant was in the area for surgery on his right knee at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic.High noonA source close to the investigation said Wednesday that law enforcement officials were notified of the alleged assault at around noon July 1, the day after the alleged incident occurred and the day of Bryant’s knee surgery.Investigators questioned Bryant about 11:30 p.m. that night at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in connection with the allegations. Later that night, between 2:30 and 5 a.m. July 2, Bryant went to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, where he provided DNA samples. According to state Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Coordinator Val Sievers, those samples usually consist of blood, saliva and head hair. The alleged victim was also tested, but not at same time.On July 4, Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy issued a warrant for Bryant’s arrest on a count of felony sexual assault. Bryant turned himself in at the Eagle County jail, posted $25,000 bond and flew back to California that night.Disclosure motion todayColorado Mountain News Media and the Vail Daily have a court appearance at 1:30 p.m. today to argue that records of dispatch calls to the alleged victim’s home should be made available to the public.Vail Daily attorney Rohn Robbins said the court has granted a petition filed by NBC for expanded media, and that NBC would provide pool videography for the proceedings. No still photography will be allowed in the courtroom.”Eagle and Vail are invoking a privilege reserved for the district attorney,” Robbins said of the decision to seal the files.Town of Eagle attorney Ed Sands said the records were part of the Bryant case investigation and could be sealed from the public. Robbins argued that the records are administrative and should be made available to the public.The request for the dispatch records was made to the Eagle Police Department, Vail and its central dispatch center, and Eagle County.Hurlbert was invited to participate in the proceedings, but told Robbins that no one from the District Attorney’s Office would be present.Acting Eagle Police Chief Gary Ward, who refused to turn over records that routinely are released to the public on request, is being allowed to testify by affidavit.Why Eagle is holding firmThe following is a statement from William Powell, town manager for Eagle, explaining the position of the town in regard to the Vail Daily’s request to be provided records that routinely are made public upon request:For the public’s information, I wanted to clarify the Town of Eagle’s position to not release information requested by the Vail Daily regarding 911 calls concerning the young lady involved in Kobe Bryant situation.First, the calls in question are not directly related to the alleged incident with Kobe Bryant.They occurred some time before the incident. Second, although we firmly believe in and support “the public’s right to know,” we also support victims’ rights and their right to privacy.In any investigation involving sexual allegations, there is a fine line to walk between providing enough information to the media, and giving them too much. It is the Town of Eagle’s position that Colorado state law explicitly gives us discretion in determining whether the benefits to a victim of keeping records closed outweigh the “public” benefits of releasing the records. In this instance, we believe that it is in the best interests of all parties involved in the case that the records remain sealed at this time.Today, July 17, district court will hear a complaint against the Town of Eagle by Colorado Mountain News Media (Vail Daily) asking the town to show cause why the records should remain sealed. We will vigorously defend our position to exercise discretion in these matters as the statutes allow. Ultimately, a decision will be made by the court, and the Town of Eagle will abide by the court’s decision.Sincerely,William PowellTown Manager

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