Kobe's Accuser: Flirting Turned Ugly

10/10/2003 10:38AM

Kobe Bryant's accuser said the basketball star forced her to have sex and made her promise not to tell anyone about it, a detective told a Colorado judge Thursday.

Eagle County Detective Doug Winters said a flirtatious encounter in Bryant's hotel room turned violent after the L.A. Lakers star grabbed the woman's throat, bent her over a chair and forced her to have sex, according to published reports. Winters testified during a long and graphic preliminary hearing in Eagle, Colo., intended to determine whether there is enough evidence to try Bryant for rape.

After six hours, County Judge Frederick Gannett angrily halted the hearing when Bryant's lead defense attorney raised the issue of the woman's previous sexual encounters in the context of the injuries being presented as evidence. After a private conference with attorneys from both sides, he announced that the hearing would continue on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Although Bryant's 19-year-old accuser did not testify Thursday, Winters's account included his reports of a videotaped interview with a nurse who had examined the woman after the alleged attack. The nurse said the woman's cuts and a small bruise were not consistent with consensual sex.

Bryant has admitted to having sex with the woman, but says it was consensual.

The judge appeared critical of Bryant's defense attorney, who repeatedly referred in court to the name of the accuser. Defense attorney Pamela Mackey replied that she would write herself a reminder not to mention the name, and the judge commented, "Or I could just get the muzzle."

Although the woman's name has been published on the Internet, it has not been released because of rape-shield laws, and most news organizations have refrained from printing it, the Journal Sentinel notes.

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