Imagine a world where Kobe Bryant can go back to dribbling his balls and Kate Faber can go back to fucking guys other than celebrities. It may just happen…
WWW – Prosecutors are pushing for a delay in the Kobe Bryant rape trial, sparking predictions that the criminal case against the L.A. Lakers superstar is as good as dead.
The Eagle, Colo., district attorney filed the surprise request for a timeout late Tuesday, just two weeks before jury selection is set to begin Aug. 27.
It came on the heels of Bryant’s 20-year-old accuser filing a civil lawsuit against him – which the defense could use to portray her as a gold digger.
While prosecutors declined to comment, legal experts said it looks as though rookie District Attorney Mark Hurlbert is trying to make a fast break.
“This is an attempt at a graceful exit,” said Denver defense lawyer Jeralyn Merritt, who has followed the case closely.
If Judge Terry Ruckriegle denies the motion, as expected, prosecutors can blame Ruckriegle for the problems with their case and say their hands are tied, analysts said. In his motion, the district attorney cited mistakes by the court – particularly the release of sealed testimony by a defense expert who claims the accuser had sex hours after the alleged rape at a resort where Bryant was staying.
Hurlbert also complained the judge has not made decisions on several key issues, including evidence of the college student’s fragile mental health and drug use.
“I think it foreshadows a dismissal of the criminal case,” Colorado defense attorney Dan Recht said. “The civil lawyers and the prosecutor are looking for a way out that saves face and doesn’t appear to be an admission there was no sexual assault.”
Last week, the ex-cheerleader dropped a bombshell on prosecutors when her lawyers took to the airwaves to announce she might pull out of the criminal case. They said the airing of lurid details about their client’s sex life – including mystery semen stains on the yellow underwear she wore to her rape exam – wrecked any chance of a fair trial. They apparently believe their best shot at a verdict against Bryant would be in civil court, where the standard of proof is lower than in criminal cases.
The public outburst led Ruckriegle to slap a more sweeping gag order on all the parties.
Two days later, the accuser filed her civil suit, outlining her claims about their encounter and seeking a minimum of $75,000 in damages.
Bryant and the woman met in June 2003 at the Cordillera Hotel & Spa, where she worked at the concierge desk. The married athlete claims they had consensual sex in his room, while she contends he grabbed her neck, bent her over a chair and raped her.
If the criminal case does go to trial and Bryant is convicted, he faces four years to life in prison.