Accuser Files Civil Suit Against Kobe Bryant

Woman Seeks Unspecified Amount In Monetary Damages

POSTED: 1:03 pm MDT August 10, 2004
UPDATED: 3:17 pm MDT August 10, 2004

DENVER -- The 20-year-old accuser in the Kobe Bryant case filed a civil suit Tuesday seeking an unspecified amount in monetary damages from the basketball star, saying that he has a "history of committing similar violent sexual assault on females."

The civil suit, labeled "Jane Doe vs. Bryant," was filed Tuesday in federal court in Denver, the court assigned to Judge Richard Matsch.

The suit claimed the Los Angeles Lakers star raped the woman after she went up to his room when he was staying at the Vail-area resort where she was working. The claim that she was raped while bent over a chair matches the criminal charge against him.

The civil court filing says:

The lawsuit claims that Bryant "has a history of attempting to commit similar acts of violent sexual assault on females he has just met and has thereby established a pattern and practice of such unlawful acts."


The civil complaint said as result of alleged assault, the woman "has suffered stress, emotional distress and mental pain and suffering and adverse physical consequences."

She has also "been subjected to public scorn, hatred, and ridicule and has suffered threats against her life and physical safety," and "has incurred special damages, including medical and legal expenses" the suit said.

"The sexual assault and rape perpetrated by Defendant Bryant upon Plaintiff was an intentional, criminal act," the suit said.

The accuser is seeking punitive damages against Bryant to "punish (him) for his actions and to deter (him) from repeating his criminal conduct."

The woman's attorney, John Clune, said she demands a trial by jury, special damages and compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, and the cost of her attorney's fees and expenses of the civil action.

Jury selection for Bryant's criminal trial begins Aug. 27. He has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault.

A criminal case requires a higher standard of proof to convict, and punishment can involve prison time. A civil case has a lower standard of proof, and punishment is usually a monetary award.

If convicted, he faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.

"It seems like this is the latest move in the accuser's exit strategy from the criminal case. The chance that the criminal trial will go forward has become more remote," said 7NEWS Legal Analyst Craig Silverman. "The criminal case will not be helpful if the goal is to obtain money from Kobe Bryant. Let's say the criminal case goes forward. If he is acquitted, then he will have very little incentive to settle the case because the humiliating facts will have already been exposed and he will probably win the civil case too. If somehow Kobe Bryant is convicted, his $137 million Lakers contract goes away, he will probably be incarcerated and he may go broke faster than you can say 'Mike Tyson.'"

"It's a terrible time to file this if there is actually going to be a criminal trial. It provides further ammunition for team Kobe's contention that her primary motivation is money," Silverman added. "It's also an interesting way to get around the court's gag order. They have put forth the accuser's version of events and thrown in the cheap shot that Kobe Bryant is some kind of serial sex offender."

The question has arisen why her attorneys filed the civil case in U.S. District Court in Denver.

"The alternative is to file in District Court in Eagle, where Terry Ruckriegle is the presiding judge, or they could have filed the case in Los Angeles, where Bryant is the local presiding hero," Silverman said.

Read Official Civil Court Filing

Previous Stories:

Related Stories:

Email This Story    Print This Story

On The Side ...