Kobe accuser wants
lawsuit heard quickly
Woman won't file 2nd suit
in Calif. because it could delay trial
DENVER - The woman who accused Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant of rape wants a public airing of her federal lawsuit as soon as possible.
Attorney L. Lin Wood said Sunday that his client decided against filing a second, parallel suit in California state court because of fears that legal maneuvers there would delay a trial in the suit in federal court in Denver.
“We want to get this case in front of the public as soon as possible,” Wood said.
The woman’s lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages for pain, ridicule and scorn she says she has suffered since her encounter with Bryant in a Vail-area resort in June 2003.
Bryant had faced a charge of felony sexual assault but prosecutors dropped the case in September after the woman said she no longer wanted to participate in the criminal case.
Bryant, who had pleaded innocent to the charge, has said the two had consensual sex.
Wood considered filing a second lawsuit in California because a victory there could have brought a bigger settlement. Colorado law, which will govern the Denver lawsuit, makes it difficult for a plaintiff to collect more than $733,000. California law places no limit on damages in a civil suit.
Wood said filing a second suit would have given Bryant’s lawyers too many opportunities to delay both cases.
The woman’s attorney accused the defense team of trying to delay the case while running up his client’s expenses in hopes of driving her out of court. He declined to comment on whether the two sides have discussed an out-of-court settlement.
Bryant’s attorney did not immediately return a telephone message Sunday. Bryant’s legal team has contended that other parties — such as the news media and people who have threatened his accuser — bear some of the responsibility for her pain and suffering.
It is the policy of The Associated Press not to print names of alleged sexual assault victims without their consent. The woman has asked that her name not be published.
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