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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Kobe Bryant Turns Self in for Sexual Assault Accusation

Aired July 7, 2003 - 19:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You no doubt heard by now of the other big story today. A possible scandal is brewing around the NBA superstar Kobe Bryant.
Now he turned himself into authorities in Colorado after an arrest warrant was issued on sexual assault allegations. But those authorities say no charges have yet been filed.

Frank Buckley is live in Eagle, Colorado, with the very latest on this very confusing case -- Frank.

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, that's where things stand now. Kobe Bryant did turn himself in on July 4 but no charges have been formally filed yet.

Now, the district attorney in this area says that the charges, if there are any, could come at the end of this week. He's going to review some work from the local sheriff's department.

Here is the allegation against Kobe Bryant, the great basketball player from the Los Angeles Lakers. The allegation comes on June 30 from an adult female who says that she was sexually assaulted by Kobe Bryant in a hotel in the Edwards area of Eagle County.

On July 1 investigators became involved. They did contact Kobe Bryant last week. They had conversations with him, they say. And then an arrest warrant was issued on July 4.

Kobe Bryant turned himself in and then posted a $25,000 bond.

Local authorities won't provide any details at all of the case, but they do say that an arrest was warranted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK HURLBERT, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The bottom line was that the judge -- it was a county court judge that looked the affidavit and found probable cause in this case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BUCKLEY: And so the arrest warrant was issued. But the charges haven't been filed.

And if you talk to friends, teammates, management of the Lakers, they say that if these allegations are true, they're completely out of the character of the Kobe Bryant they know. And today his attorneys and one of his agents issued a statement in which they say, quote, "Mr. Bryant is innocent and expects to be completely exonerated."

They also said that the issuing of the arrest warrant before the district attorney's office was prepared to file charges indicates that, quote, "the actions of the sheriff's office are biased and unfair." Something that the sheriff's department denies -- Anderson.

COOPER: It is certainly a strange case. One we'll be following very closely. Frank, thanks very much tonight.

Frank Buckley reporting on that.

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