DENVER – A key witness in the failed sexual assault case against NBA star Kobe Bryant (search) said in his first public interview that he remains convinced Bryant's accuser was telling the truth, and that the case should have gone to trial.
In an interview scheduled to air Thursday on "ABC News-Primetime Live," Bobby Pietrack (search) declined to answer directly when asked if he believed Bryant got away with a crime.
"This thing should have ... been decided by 12 jurors, and whatever verdict they would have come back with ... would have sufficed," said Pietrack, a former co-worker and high school friend of the accuser.
His remarks in the televised interview are similar to written statements he gave to investigators — documents released in October, about a month after prosecutors dropped the sexual assault charge against Bryant.
Pietrack was a bellman at the resort where Bryant stayed in late June 2003 to have knee surgery at a Vail clinic. The accuser, who worked at the front desk, told authorities Bryant raped her in his room. Pietrack was the first person she spoke to after the alleged attack.
She told him Bryant had choked her. She was shaking, pale and crying, Pietrack said.
"(I) was looking into the eyes of someone that was not there. ... It was the scariest thing I had been through," Pietrack said. "She mentioned that they had consensual kissing ... and I said `Did anything else happen?' And that's when she started to cry. And it was obvious then that something happened that was not good."
He said she told him Bryant had "forced sex on me."
Pietrack was expected to be called as a witness during the criminal trial. Prosecutors said they dropped the charge because the accuser told them she did not want to participate.
The woman's federal civil lawsuit against the Los Angeles Lakers (search) star was settled out of court last month. Terms were not disclosed.