Sex claims false, attorney says
The attorney for Kobe Bryant’s alleged victim Tuesday returned fire at Bryant’s defense attorneys, calling their allegation that the young woman had sex less than 15 hours after Bryant allegedly raped her “patently false.”
In a written statement, attorney John Clune shot back at a defense motion accusing the alleged victim of having sex in less than 15 hours after the June 30, 2003, incident at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera.
“The claim that the victim in this case had any sexual contact with anyone within 15 hours after being assaulted by Mr. Bryant are patently false,” said Clune. “Anyone trying to prove otherwise will be chasing ghosts. The victim has confidence that the judge in this case will appropriately resolve these rape shield issues and that the focus of this trial will remain on the conduct of the defendant.”
Bryant and his alleged victim had sex around 11 p.m. June 30 in his hotel suite at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera. Bryant was in town for knee surgery.
About 15 hours later the alleged victim underwent her rape test exam at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. The alleged victim says it was rape. Bryant has said the sex was consensual. Bryant submitted to his rape exam during the early morning hours of July 2.
Bryant is charged with one felony count of sexual assault stemming from the incident.
“Clune obviously felt that enough is enough, and that this issue had to be responded to immediately,” said former prosecutor Norm Early, an observer of the case who comments frequently for television news shows.
Bryant’s attorney Pamela Mackey made the claim in a court motion filed around noon Monday. Mackey, writing in response to a prosecution plan to produce expert witnesses to testify that the alleged victim suffered from trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from the incident.
“These statements are based on speculation and hearsay,” said local defense attorney David Lugert. “There’s no evidence in the public record to support them.”
“The defense is going down another wrong road,” said Lugert. “I expect her to be vindicated in court.”
While arguing Monday with District Attorney Mark Hurlbert about turning over some evidence – two swatches of cloth cut from the alleged victim’s underwear – Bryant’s defense co-counsel Harold Haddon said semen swabs tested last week showed DNA on the alleged victim’s neck, inner thigh and pernium. Hurblert quickly objected, saying the information violated the state’s rape shield law.
“The defense is making these outlandish statements, in violation of the rape shield law, for no other reason than to shock the jury pool,” said Early.
If the defense allegations are false, and they knew that when they made them, Bryant’s defense attorneys could land in hot water. According to the Colorado Bar Association, sanctions could include monetary or even criminal penalties, and possibly cost them their law licenses.
Early said if it’s true, the allegation that the alleged victim had sex within hours of the incident with Bryant could be a fatal blow to the prosecution.
“If she had sex within 15 hours after the incident with Bryant, they could never get a conviction,” said Early.
However, Early added that it’s probably irrelevant and expressed doubts that the defense can prove it.
“I doubt they can prove this and all the other allegations they’ve been making against this defendant,” said Early. “The courtroom is where the rubber meets the road. It’s there that they’ll have to put up or shut up.”
What they said
Text of a statement released Tuesday by John Clune, the attorney for the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, and statements Bryant’s attorneys made in a court filing Monday:
The claims that the victim in this case had any sexual contact with anyone within 15 hours after being assaulted by Mr. Bryant are patently false. Anyone trying to prove otherwise will be chasing ghosts. The victim has confidence that the judge in this case will appropriately resolve these ‘rape shield’ issues and that the focus of this trial will remain on the conduct of the defendant. No further comment will be made at this time.
Excerpts from the defense filing:
Acts of prior and subsequent sexual activity of the accuser are relevant to show the accuser’s knowledge, intent, common plan, pattern and modus operandi with respect to whether she consented to have sexual intercourse with Mr. Bryant.
Evidence that the accuser engaged in sexual intercourse within the two days preceding and within less than 15 hours following her encounter with Mr. Bryant is relevant and admissible …
Given the timing and the nature of the accused’s sexual activity following her encounter with Mr. Bryant, all of this activity is now relevant to test and rebut the prosecution experts’ opinions regarding the supposed trauma and (post traumatic stress disorder) allegedly suffered by the accuser.