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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Kobe's accuser might drop criminal case

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posted on Aug, 4 2004 @ 02:52 PM
DENVER (AP) -- The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape will have to discuss with prosecutors whether she will go ahead with the criminal case because she fears the release of court documents about her sex life threatens her chance of getting a fair hearing, one of her lawyers said Wednesday.

John Clune said his 20-year-old client will have to talk to prosecutors soon about that and will also consider whether to file a civil suit against the NBA star.

Meanwhile, the television show Celebrity Justice reported in a press release that lawyers for all parties and prosecutors have been discussing a plea bargain and civil settlement in the case.

The release cited sources connected with the parties in the case as saying discussions have focused on Bryant pleading guilty to a "non-sex crime," perhaps a misdemeanor such as third-degree assault. It also reported that there were negotiations going on to head off a possible civil case.

The report said parties discussed Bryant writing a letter of apology to his accuser, in which he'd state that he never believed he was assaulting her but that she apparently believed otherwise, and he was sorry. It also said there would be some kind of financial settlement as part of a deal.

Asked if his client is considering dropping out of the criminal case, Clune told the Associated Press: "That's something she and prosecutors will have to discuss in the immediate future. The DA's office will have to make that decision on what they want to do."

The woman's other lawyer, L. Lin Wood, said decisions on how to proceed should be made in a matter of days. Bryant is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 27 in Eagle, Colo.

"This young woman is not going away. Whether it proceeds criminally or civilly or both, justice is going to be had for this young woman," Clune said.

Prosecutors have been in constant contact with the accuser and her lawyers throughout the case and were told the woman would still participate even after the release of the transcripts, district attorney's spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said Wednesday.

"Nothing has changed with our plans of going forward with the prosecution of this case," she said.

Under pressure from the U.S. Supreme Court, District Judge Terry Ruckriegle on Monday released some 200 pages of transcripts from a closed-door hearing in June. The transcripts had been mistakenly e-mailed to The Associated Press and six other media organizations, who fought for the right to publish their contents.

The documents include testimony from a DNA expert for the defense, Elizabeth Johnson, who says she is convinced the accuser had sex with someone after Bryant and before she contacted authorities -- a claim that Clune has vehemently denied.

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