Kobe Records Released
The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape told investigators the NBA star ignored her entreaties to stop and said there was no doubt he heard her "because every time I said `No' he tightened his hold around me," according to documents released Friday.
That is among the never-before-released details of the woman's interview with Eagle County sheriff's investigators the day after the incident at a Vail-area resort last summer. Some details were released months ago, before the rape charge against Bryant was dismissed at the woman's request.
The then-19-year-old woman said she and Bryant kissed for several minutes in his room before he became aggressive and began groping her.
The woman, who was a front desk employee and had given Bryant a tour of the Cordillera resort, said he put both his hands around her neck and after bending her over a chair, removed one hand to pull down her underwear.
"At that point I was just kind of scared and I said `No' a few times," she told the detectives at the sheriff's office about 12 hours after the incident.
Investigator Doug Winters then asked how she knew that Bryant heard her.
"Because every time I said `No' he tightened his hold around me," she replied.
She said she cried during the encounter, and was scared he would hurt her.
The woman also said she believed she led Bryant to believe she wanted him to hug or kiss her — she said she thought he was "going to try and make a move on me" — but she did not intend to have sex with him.
During his interview with detectives, Bryant said the woman told him she had hoped he would have sex with her, according to the transcript released Friday. He said the woman never cried and he repeatedly told detectives the sex was consensual. He also said she gave him a kiss goodbye before she left his room.
Several times during the questioning, Bryant asked detectives whether the woman wanted money from him.
Bryant, 26, still faces a federal lawsuit filed by the woman that seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering she says she has suffered since the incident last summer. No trial date has been set.
Several news organizations including The Associated Press had requested access to the sealed case files, including evidence and witness statements. More will be released Monday by the prosecution once the woman's name and some of her personal history is redacted.
The material from the sheriff's department included 354 pages of court filings; lists of evidence — mostly clothing, hair, fiber, blood and other bodily fluids; and transcripts of interviews with witnesses, Bryant and the woman.
No physical evidence was made available to reporters. In a letter sent to the sheriff's department this week, defense attorney Pamela Mackey said she believed that no clothing or other physical evidence would be shown to the public. The evidence includes a T-shirt of Bryant's stained with the woman's blood.
After the woman said she wouldn't testify in the criminal case, prosecutors dismissed the felony sexual assault charge against Bryant on Sept. 1. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said at the time he believed a jury would have convicted Bryant, but only if the woman was willing to testify.
Included in the documents were statements from the first three people the woman saw after her encounter with Bryant. Trina McKay, the resort's night auditor, said she saw the woman as she was leaving to go home, and "she did not look or sound as if there had been any problem."
But Bobby Pietrack, a bellman and high school friend of the woman, said she appeared to be very upset.
"As we started to walk to the time clock (she) grabbed my arm and started to cry and said that Kobe Bryant choked her," Pietrack wrote in a police statement. "After we clocked out, I asked her to tell me everything, and that is when she told me that Kobe Bryant had forced sex with her."
He added: "She was very shaken and she was crying" as the two walked to their cars from the hotel.
Pietrack said he followed her home, a drive of about 20 minutes, told her to tell her parents what happened and left. He said he called the next morning and learned she had not yet told her parents.
The woman had called her former boyfriend, Matt Herr, who wrote in a statement that she was "very upset, claiming that Kobe Bryant had raped her."
Two weeks ago, the Vail Daily published a transcript of a 75-minute interview with Bryant taped by Eagle County sheriff's investigator Dan Loya, who questioned Bryant along with colleague Doug Winters. The talk took place in the parking lot of the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera and in Bryant's room.
The version of events is similar -- except for the issue of whether the sex was consensual. Which was part of the problem for the prosecution, notes CBS News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.
"This is precisely the sort of he-said,she-said contrast we expected to see at trial. And it is precisely why these sorts of cases generally are so difficult to win for prosecutors. The details are graphic, we knew they would be, but I'm not sure they tell us enough to help us know what really happened,'' said Cohen.
The Los Angeles Lakers standout used profanity and gave graphic descriptions about the encounter.
At the time, his 19-year-old accuser had already had a hospital examination and had been interviewed by Winters. The felony sexual assault charge that could have landed Bryant in prison for life was dismissed at her request earlier this month because she no longer wanted to testify. Her civil lawsuit against Bryant is pending in federal court.
During the interview, Bryant initially denied having sex with the woman, then changed his account, saying she initiated it after the investigators told him they had physical evidence indicating the two had sex.
"It was totally consensual," he said.
"What makes you believe it was consensual?" Loya asked.
"`Cause she started kissing me, (inaudible) then she bent over and (inaudible)," Bryant said.
Later, Bryant said, "We were still only this close, and she gets up and she gives me a kiss, so I kiss her back, and then, you know, I started caressing her or whatever, and then she puts her hand on my, you know, my thing or whatever, and it kinda goes from there."
Bryant told investigators he was willing to take a lie-detector test. He also denied asking the woman not to tell anyone about their encounter. Winters later testified she told investigators that Bryant made that request.
Bryant said the woman offered to show him a tattoo of musical instruments and notes on her back, and she lowered a strap on her dress so he could see it. After that, he said, she kissed him and he kissed back. They caressed each other and she performed oral sex.
Bryant said he held her by the neck from behind, she lifted her dress and bent over a chair, and they had sex. He said he stopped after she refused to let him do something he requested.
During a hearing last fall, Winters said Bryant grabbed the woman by the neck hard enough to leave a small bruise on her jaw, bent her over a chair and pulled down her underwear.
"It was consensual, there was nothing weird, you know what I mean," Bryant said during the interview.
"Did she say anything to (you) to provoke any of this to happen?" Winters asked.
"She said she wanted to, you know, she hoped that I would (edited) her," Bryant said.
When Loya told Bryant the woman had experienced some bleeding, he said he was surprised because he hadn't noticed any blood. The shirt he was wearing, which he gave to the investigators, was later found to be stained with the woman's blood.
Asked what happened while she was leaving Bryant's room, he told investigators she never cried. She put on her clothes, asked for his autograph and gave him a kiss, he said.
Winters has said the woman cried during the act and said "no" at least twice. He also said Bryant told her to go into his bathroom to clean herself up before she left, and that bellman Bobby Pietrack told investigators she seemed upset and her clothes and hair were disheveled when she left work that night.
Bryant also admitted to frequent similar encounters with another woman named "Michelle," who could testify that he also held her from behind. Bryant, who had been married for two years and had a 5-month-old daughter, said his wife did not know about the other woman.
He told the investigators he was concerned about damage to his marriage, his career and his image if word of the rape allegation got out.
"Is there any way I can settle this, whatever it is?" Bryant asked.
"Well, what do you mean by settle?" Winters replied.
"If my wife, if my wife found out that anybody made any type of allegations against me she would be infuriated," Bryant said.
The newspaper said it edited the transcript to remove profanity and graphic sexual descriptions; a full copy was not immediately made available to The Associated Press. The transcript appears to be accurate, a source close to the prosecution told AP.
Legal Analyst Cohen notes the information comes out long before the civil trial even will be scheduled, so to that extent, it shouldn't hurt Bryant much when it comes to selecting a jury in the civil case.
On the other hand, the release of this information makes it less likely that there will be a deal before trial since most of the damaging detail now is out, said Cohen.
for more features.