Accuser alleged she tried to leave Bryant's hotel room

Updated: August 6, 2003, 11:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

EAGLE, Colo. -- Just hours before Kobe Bryant was to appear at a court hearing here, more reports came to surface regarding the sexual assault case involving the Los Angeles Lakers star.

According to several sources familiar with the case, the accuser alleged she tried to leave Bryant's hotel room and he blocked the door, ABC News reported Wednesday.

Bryant is charged with felony sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman who was working at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera when Bryant stayed at the exclusive resort hotel June 30. Bryant, who is free on $25,000 bond, has said the sex was consensual.

ABC News was also told examiners found evidence that the alleged victim had "vaginal tearing." Prosecutors could argue this is not consistent with consensual sex. Experts say the defense could rebut this in several ways, including that vaginal tearing could be sustained during consensual sex, or was not incurred during sex with Bryant.

Sources also say that while the sheriff's original arrest warrant included a misdemeanor claim of false imprisonment, the prosecutor did not include a false imprisonment claim in the charging document.The reason may be because prosecutors do not like to give a jury the option of finding guilt on a lesser offense as a way of compromising. That does not mean the prosecution cannot include the allegation at trial.

Bryant attended a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the Eagle County Justice Center. Bryant was read the charges against him but did not make a plea. The entire hearing lasted just seven minutes.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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