EAGLE, Colo. – An investigator said Wednesday that NBA star Kobe Bryant (search) was taken to a hospital hours after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a mountain resort.
Doug Winters, a detective with the Eagle County sheriff's department, refused to say why investigators took Bryant in a squad car to Valley View Hospital (search) in Glenwood Springs early July 2.
The investigator said Bryant was free to go after the hospital trip because he had not been charged. He said Bryant was picked up by a taxi.
Bryant, 24, is accused of attacking the woman at a hotel on June 30. Officials at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, 40 miles east of Glenwood Springs (search), say Bryant was a guest June 30-July 2.
Prosecutors are expected to decide by the end of the week whether he will be charged. His attorney says Bryant, who was in Colorado for knee surgery at a Vail clinic, is innocent.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Andree refused to discuss the case Wednesday, saying only that the department uses hospitals in Glenwood Springs and Vail for tests in sexual assault investigations.
Vail taxi driver Terry O'Brien, 38, told The Orange County Register he picked up Bryant and three bodyguards from the hospital about 2:30 a.m. on July 2.
Bryant pulled a towel over his head before ducking down into the back seat of the cab, O'Brien said. He said he dropped the Los Angeles Lakers' guard and two members of the entourage at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, then gave the third bodyguard a ride back to the spa.
The man "cleared out" Bryant's belongings, O'Brien said. When the trip ended at 5 a.m., the fare of $372 was paid by bodyguard Michael Ortiz, the cabbie said.
"The whole thing was pretty weird and pretty fishy," O'Brien told the Register. "Bryant was laying in the back seat with a towel over his head trying not to be seen while three men were taking care of all the details."
O'Brien was not at work Wednesday and a telephone listing in his name was disconnected. A dispatcher refused to contact him.