Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Decision Whether to Charge Kobe Bryant Won't Come Until Next Week

A decision on whether to charge Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant (search) with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman will not be announced until next week, a prosecutor's spokeswoman said Thursday.

Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert did not return a call, but a statement from his office said he was awaiting more information before making his decision.

Bryant, 24, a five-time NBA All-Star, is accused of attacking the woman at a resort on June 30. Officials at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, which is near Vail, say the basketball player was a guest there June 30-July 2.

Bryant's attorney has said his client, who was in Colorado for knee surgery at a Vail clinic, is innocent.

The Associated Press and other media aren't identifying the woman in keeping with policies protecting the privacy of victims of alleged sex crimes, but many in this small town sandwiched between Interstate 70 and the mountains know who she is.

Friends say the 19-year-old is a 2002 graduate of Eagle Valley Senior High School (search), a cheerleader and a talented piano player who sang in the choir.

"Every time I talked to her, she was a real sweetheart. She was just really sweet to me," said Lauren McNeil, 15.

Lindsey McKinney said she temporarily moved in with the alleged victim's family after fighting with her own parents, but later had a falling out with her.

McKinney said she and the woman traveled to Austin, Texas, in November to try out for the "American Idol" TV talent show. They slept outside for 12 hours to get an audition, but neither made it to the second round.

Reporters from around the country converged on the cul-de-sac where the woman's house sits, with evergreen landscaping and a basketball hoop over the two-car garage.

Some knocked, others left business cards. At one point, a sheriff's officer in an unmarked car cruised past.

The father of the alleged victim declined to speak with an AP reporter, referring all questions to the prosecutor.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation (search) Deputy Director Pete Mang said his agency was analyzing evidence in the case. He declined to say what the evidence was or speculate how long it might take.

"We're in the beginning stages of examining the evidence," Mang said. "If we do find items that need analytical work, it could slow things down a bit."

Both Bryant and his accuser went to hospitals after the alleged attack, authorities have said.

Sheriff's deputies took Bryant to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, about 40 miles west of the resort, early July 2.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Andree on Wednesday said the department uses hospitals in Glenwood Springs and Vail for tests in sexual assault investigations.

Andree confirmed that the alleged victim also went to a hospital, but wouldn't say whether deputies took her.

Earlier this week, Sheriff Joe Hoy said investigators learned of the assault allegation July 1. Bryant surrendered to authorities last Friday and was released after posting $25,000 bond.