Bryant Appears in Colorado Court on Sex Charge

By: Brent Boynton
By: Brent Boynton

Kobe Bryant made his first court appearance in Colorado on a rape charge this afternoon.

Today we take a look at what happened today in Eagle, Colorado and also compare Nevada's sexual assault laws to Colorado's.

It's a classic example of a big case in a small town. Even though this was just a pre-trial hearing - it was a media frenzy.

When NBA superstar Kobe Bryant walked into the courtroom, it was the biggest thing that had happened in Eagle in recent memory.

Said visitor Bob Rankin from South Carolina: "We were amazed at all the media coverage - the stands that are built. I mean they had carpenters with wood building stands, they had everybody covering this like it was the president. And I couldn't believe it."

The media frenzy has been building for about a month since Bryant turned himself in after a 19-year-old hotel concierge told police he had raped her in his room at this exclusive resort.

The basketball star says he's guilty of adultery - but nothing more.

But ABC News has learned the prosecution plans to present evidence of vaginal tearing and argue that's not consistent with consensual sex.

Bryant's fans gathered outside, steadfast in their support:

"I support Kobe - I am not saying anything about the girl, but I have always been a fan of Kobe's," said Eagle resident Jordan Meikle.

Others are waiting for the outcome of the trial:

Philadelphia visitor Cindy O'Connell said: "If he really sexually assaulted her, it is terrible. He should be punished. And if he didn't, it is a very tragedy. I mean it's a tragic event because he is accused of something he didn't do."

And what happened?

Bryant's attorneys waived his right to be formally advised of the felony assault charge against him.

That was all today's hearing was for.

The next step, a preliminary hearing takes place Oct. 9, just over two months from now.


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