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Reply to "Ghettopoly"

It is certain that Kobe Bryant Wishes He had spent his time:

A. At home with his wife.

B. Playing Monopoly, or Ghettopoly,

than to be faced with the very real threat of:

C. Long prison time.

D. Losing all rights to past, present, and/or future lucrative endorsements.

E. Losing every dime worked for as a result of civil lawsuit for damages.

just by acting in real life, like one of the characters depicted in Ghettopoly!

________________________________________________

"Detective: Bryant Forced Woman to Have Sex
By Elliott Teaford, Steve Henson and Alan Abrahamson

Times Staff Writers

October 10, 2003

EAGLE, Colo. -- EAGLE, Colo. "” A sheriff's detective testified Thursday that the 19-year-old resort worker accusing Kobe Bryant of rape told police that the Los Angeles Laker star placed his arms around her neck and forced her to have sex, despite her protests and tears.

Eagle County Sheriff's Detective Doug Winters, questioned during an extraordinary preliminary hearing many believed wouldn't occur, testified that the woman said Bryant repeatedly asked her not to tell anyone about the encounter and made her promise to do so before letting her leave his room at an Edwards, Colo., resort.

The hearing included riveting testimony from Winters and contentious questioning from Bryant attorney Pamela Mackey, lasting more than five hours before it was continued until next Wednesday. Judge Fredrick Gannett will ultimately determine whether Bryant will be charged with felony sexual assault.

According to statements the woman gave Winters, her encounter with Bryant began with some mutual flirting during a tour of the resort. Bryant then invited her to his room, where he asked to see a tattoo on her ankle and invited her to join him in a hot tub.

The woman declined his offer, telling Bryant her shift was about to end and she wished to go home. Bryant then hugged her, which led to consensual kissing, the detective testified.

After she turned away from him to leave the room, Bryant grabbed her around the neck from behind with his arms. He pulled down her underwear, pushed her against a chair and raped her from behind, the detective testified. She told Winters she broke into tears after twice telling Bryant to stop.

After the woman agreed to promise not to tell anyone what happened, Bryant insisted that she kiss his penis before allowing her to leave. The woman ran downstairs to the lobby, meeting a bellman who had seen her with Bryant during the tour of the hotel. It was the bellman who first heard the woman's story.

Bryant, who did not testify in the proceedings, has said the two had consensual sex, but has proclaimed: "I am innocent" of the charges.

Mackey, his attorney, aggressively challenged Winters' testimony and seemingly every tidbit of evidence, including three photographs presented by Deputy District Attorney Gregory Crittenden. One photograph showed a small bruise on the accuser's left jaw; the other two were of vaginal injuries the prosecution said were the result of the rape.

In her cross-examination, Mackey brought the proceeding to a halt when she suggested that the woman's injuries might also be "consistent with a person who has had sex with three different men in three days."

Judge Gannett immediately "” and angrily "” called for a recess, emptying the courtroom and telling attorneys from both sides to meet him in his chambers.

Mackey was scolded earlier by Gannett when she used the accuser's name six times during her cross-examination.

She told the judge she would write herself "a big note" not to use the name again. Countered Gannett: "Or I could get you a big muzzle."

Mackey continued to press the detective, particularly about the bruises on the woman's neck. Winters said he did not know when she suffered the bruising and did not initially see the injuries.

"She talks (about) how Mr. Kobe Bryant grabbed her neck and choked her," Mackey said to Winters. "You looked at her neck to see?"

After Winters said he had indeed examined the woman for injuries, Mackey asked if he could see the bruises.

"Not from the front, no," Winters said.

"Not a red mark?" Mackey asked.

"That's correct," he said.

"Not a scratch?" she asked.

"That's correct," he said.

Some legal experts had predicted that the defense would waive the public hearing and go directly to trial. They had speculated that such lurid testimony in open court would be damaging to Bryant's defense.

Bryant, who had been in Hawaii at Laker training camp, arrived at the Eagle County Justice Center in a white SUV, part of a three-vehicle convoy. He walked inside through a metal detector. He took off a necklace before walking through.

With him were his attorneys, Mackey and Hal Haddon. Bryant did not speak to people outside.

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom.

The charges stem from an incident June 30 at a resort in Edwards, where Bryant's 19-year-old accuser was employed. The next day she told police he had assaulted her.

Bryant, 25, has been free on $25,000 bond. If convicted, he faces a sentence of four years to life.

The Lakers have stood by Bryant, who had arrived a day late to the team's Hawaii training camp because of an undisclosed illness. He practiced with teammates for several days, but did not play in the Lakers' first two exhibition games.

There was no word about when he would rejoin the team, although he vowed last week to play this season.

Bryant's lawyers could have waived the hearing, avoiding the airing of potentially damaging testimony. Gannett had denied an earlier defense request to force the accuser to testify.

There were some 300 reporters and camera crews stationed in Eagle, with TV satellite trucks parked in a lot "” at $555 a space "” near the court.

Heightened security was evident. Everyone involved in the case, including Bryant, his accuser and attorneys on both sides, has been threatened by e-mail, letter or telephone.

Armed guards were outside the Eagle County Justice Center, and only one entrance was open.

Henson and Abrahamson reported from Eagle, Colo.; Teaford from Los Angeles."

Sincerely,

Michael Lofton
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