Man sent 70 messages threatening Kobe's accuser

Updated: June 27, 2005, 8:26 PM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- A man accused of sending 70 profanity-laced death threats to the accuser and prosecutor in the Kobe Bryant rape case was sentenced Monday to nine months in a federal prison camp.

Cedric Augustine, 38, of Long Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty in March to a single felony count of making interstate threats.

A mental evaluation had concluded Augustine is mildly retarded but able to make decisions for himself. He broke down in tears several times during the hearing.

FBI agent Craig Byrkit testified that Augustine left 69 telephone messages and one letter threatening to blow up the Eagle County Courthouse and other violence.

Augustine's attorneys had asked for probation and prosecutors asked for a 10-month sentence.

The sexual assault charge against the Los Angeles Lakers star was dropped in September 2004 after his accuser said she no longer wanted to participate in the case. She and Bryant later reached an undisclosed settlement in her civil lawsuit against him.

Bryant maintained the sex was consensual.

Two other people have pleaded guilty to making threats against the accuser. John Roche of Iowa was sentenced to four months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Patrick Graber, a Swiss man living in California, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press