DENVER – After 16 months, the name of the woman who had accused Kobe Bryant (search) of rape anonymously is now a matter of public record.
Katelyn Faber filed a revised version of a lawsuit against the NBA star Thursday.
The now 20-year-old woman, who asked Eagle County prosecutors to dismiss the felony case against Bryant after deciding not to testify, had sought to remain unnamed in the federal civil case, as she did in the criminal one.
But U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch (search) rejected that request last week. He also said that granting her anonymity would have little effect because her privacy had already been invaded, partly due to mistakes by Eagle County Justice Center (search) staff in posting case filings on a state Web site.
Even though her name is now in the open, media organizations are taking different approaches. Some, like FOX News and the Rocky Mountain News, are naming the woman because she is an identified plaintiff in a lawsuit. Others, such as The Associated Press, continue to protect her privacy because it generally does not name alleged victims of sexual assault.
One of the woman's attorneys, L. Lin Wood, said Faber only identified herself in order to continue with her lawsuit, but would prefer that the media not publish her name because she still fears for her safety.
"The decision about whether to make her name a household word now really does lie in the hands of the media," said Wood, who had received inquiries from at least 10 media outlets asking whether the woman wanted to be named.
Her attorneys said she has been the subject of death threats and sordid publicity since she told police Bryant assaulted her 16 months ago.
"The parties appear as equals before the court and that fundamental principle must be protected throughout these proceedings," Matsch wrote, ordering the woman to identify herself in court documents before Oct. 20 if she wanted to pursue the case.
The revised version of the lawsuit filed Thursday was identical to the one brought against Bryant two months ago — except for the inclusion of Faber's name.
Legal experts say federal judges rarely allow plaintiffs to remain anonymous, except in cases involving children or whistleblowers who fear employer retaliation.
Bryant, 26, has maintained that the encounter between then-19-year-old Faber and him at the Vail-area resort where she worked in July 2003 was consensual. His attorney, Saskia Jordan, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.