EAGLE, Colo. – Text of the statement from District Attorney Mark Hurlbert (search) after the judge granted his request to dismiss the felony sexual assault charge against Kobe Bryant:
Today, I have reluctantly made the difficult decision to dismiss the case of People of the State of Colorado v. Kobe Bryant. This decision was made after several meetings with the victim, her family and her attorney.
In every case there are ethical minimums in terms of quantity of evidence for a prosecutor to go forward. I have absolutely no doubt that those ethical standards were met and exceeded as long as the jury had the opportunity to see and hear the facts of what happened in that room from the victim herself. I have no doubt that that bar cannot be reached without the willing cooperation of this crime victim in this trial.
This prosecution team wants to try this case, I want to try this case and have the evidence heard by 12 citizens of this community.
However, the victim has informed us, after much of her own labored deliberation that she does not want to proceed with this trial. For this reason, and this reason only, the case is being dismissed.
Throughout the prosecution of this defendant, we have consistently supported this victim and have respected her needs. A trial can be traumatic for any victim of any crime, more so with the victim of a sexual assault, and even more so with the victim of a sexual assault whose victimization has been subject to worldwide scrutiny. We admire the courage, strength and integrity the victim has displayed throughout the past year. She is truly an amazing person.
Today justice is sadly interrupted. The casualty in this interruption has been a brave young woman who was grievously hurt.
This decision is not based upon a lack of my office's commitment to the case. With the victim we truly felt we had a great case and that justice would prevail. Our commitment to this case remains strong.
This decision is not based upon a lack of belief of the victim. She is an extremely credible and brave young woman and our belief in her has not wavered over the past year.
This decision is not based upon the lack of the ability of the trial team -- Ingrid Bakke, Dana Easter and Gregg Crittenden are three dedicated, talented prosecutors and I would put them up against anyone, anywhere in this country. And I thank them for their dedication and hard work in this case.
Ultimately, we all must respect that this is this crime victim's personal decision and candidly this team understands why she may have misgivings about her rights being respected in this process.
I would like to thank all of the dedicated hardworking people who assisted in the preparation of this case. First and foremost the people of Eagle County. The support from everyone has been outstanding. I especially want to thank those of you who answered their summons for jury duty. I understand the imposition and disruption and pain that this has caused you and thank you for your commitment. I also want to thank the Eagle County commissioners and government. Both with monetary support and advice. Both were invaluable.
I also want to thank Dave Thomas, Jefferson County DA and Mary Keenan, Boulder County DA, for contributing the expert services and talents of Dana Easter and Ingrid Bakke. Without Ingrid and Dana our tiny office could not have handled such a big case.
I also want to thank the attorney general, Ken Salazar. His support, advice and people were invaluable. We could not have gone as far without his help.
I also thank Sheriff Joe Hoy, Investigator Doug Winters, Investigator Dan Loya and the rest of the Eagle County Sheriff's Office. They did a great investigation under very trying circumstances.
Finally, I want to thank the victim and her family.They are truly great people and my heroes. Thank you. I will not be taking any questions or providing any interviews.