Intruders apparently wanted incident noticed

Updated: August 22, 2003, 11:01 PM ET news services

EAGLE, Colo. -- The home of the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case was broken into late last week, sources told the Vail Daily for Friday's editions.

According to the paper, a person or persons entered the house, but didn't take anything and were not disruptive. The sources did say that the intruders appeared to want the victim and her family to know they had been there, as several items were moved and the family's dogs were found locked in a bathroom.

Kobe's Room a Hot Ticket
Kobe Bryant's alleged sexual assault of a hotel worker has focused an unwelcome spotlight on the lodge where the woman claims she was attacked.

At a place where people pay $300 to $700 a night to relax, Bryant's case has prompted unusually heavy weekday reservations from guests who want to book -- or at least look at -- Room 35.

Accounts vary about what happened in that first-floor suite of the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera on June 30th, but the encounter ended with Bryant facing a felony sexual assault charge.

The case could boost business there for years.

The marketing director at the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis says people still call to reserve the room where boxer Mike Tyson raped a teenage beauty queen in 1991.

-- Associated Press

The police report was made part of the sealed investigation file and is not available to the public, according to the paper. Acting Eagle Police Chief Gary Ward declined to answer whether the alleged victim's house was receiving additional security from his force.

The apparent break-in is the latest in a growing list of attempts to threaten and intimidate the victim, witnesses and others associated with the case, through the mail and by telephone calls.

On Friday, U.S. Attorney John W. Suthers and FBI special agent Phillip B.J. Reid announced the indictment and arrest of John William Roche of Iowa City, Iowa, on suspicion of making a threatening telephone call across state lines. Roche reportedly threatened to kill or injure the alleged victim. He was arrested Thursday without incident at his home.

Over the course of the five weeks since Eagle County district attorney Mark Hurlbert announced his decision to charge Bryant with felony sexual assault, the FBI has investigated a number of letters and phone calls received by his office and other Eagle County residents and authorities.

Bryant was arraigned on Aug. 6, and waived advisement of his rights and charges. He is scheduled to be back in Eagle County Court Oct. 9 for a preliminary hearing. At that time, Judge Frederick Gannett will decide whether there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.