Episode 252: The Kobe Beef, Part 1

 

Nick: I am Nick.

 

Jessa: And I am Jessa:

 

Nick: And we are the Getting Off podcast. We’re back.

 

Jessa: We’re back.

 

Nick: And we’re back to do something that you and I both think is quite interesting from a legal perspective. And a case that, I don’t think either you or I knew much about prior to diving in.

 

Jessa: Yeah. Right.

 

Nick: Because this is, we’re going to do the Kobe Bryant case. And we’re gonna, there’s gonna be a variety of qualifiers or disclaimers in a minute, but I’m a sports fan. You’re not.

 

Jessa: Correct.

 

Nick: I am relatively well-acquainted Kobe Bryant’s accomplishments in basketball.

 

Jessa: I am not.

 

Nick: This case, the alleged crime took place in the summer of 2003.

 

Jessa: Yes.

 

Nick: I remember, vaguely, this transpiring. Like, the media coverages of it, etc etc. I don’t recall, I did not recall any facts or details other than, you know, he was accused, etc etc. Like, only the most general facts about the case. I had no, I was in law school at the time.

 

Jessa: So was I. I was in law school ‘03 through ‘06, so. 

 

Nick: Right. And I was ‘01 through ‘04. So this was at a period of time when we overlapped, but I had no sense of any of the legal issues in this case. I think you had..

 

Jessa: We talked about it in law school, and then I have, like, a separate sort of peripheral connection to this case, insofar as I did attend a seminar where some of Kobe Bryant’s lawyers presented. And I spoke to them. I had drinks with them. You know. I mean. Like. They wouldn’t remember me. I actually don’t really even think I could pick them out of a lineup, but I recall having a conversation about this case closer in time to when it had all happened. And in a case that I handled within the last five years, recently, it was suggested to me that I reach out to these particular lawyers to discuss pretrial publicity in sexual assault cases. So I have a little bit more familiarity, career wise, but again, it’s hardly like I read every article about this at the time.

 

Nick: Right. So I mean. Obviously, we went back to this because of the fact that Kobe Bryant and one of his daughters and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in California, not very long ago. That is the occasion that sort of reminded, brought us to this.

 

Jessa: And social media went like, sort of crazy about this, right? Because people were very sad, and then there were people that were really angry that other people were sad because they felt like, “Why are you mourning this person who committed an act of rape?” They all said, like “He’s a rapist” or whatever. I choose different language and we’re gonna get to that. But there’s been this, like, public conversation about his complicated legacy, okay? I think that’s the most neutral way to present that.

 

Nick: Yeah. I mean, my observation has been the media coverage or media response to his death has been mostly, I think, like, 80, 90% just eulogizing him in a very positive way. And it is also true that some people who have sought to discuss the fact that he was once charged with rape and, look. The case ended when the criminal, the criminal case ended with the state moving to dismiss it, and that’s what happened. So there was never a trial. He was never convicted.

 

Jessa: He was also never acquitted.

 

Nick: He was never acquitted. That’s right. The government chose to dismiss the case. And we will talk about why in due course. But that’s a pretty significant fact in a person’s life, particularly a public figure’s life, and I mean. There was a reporter, I think, at the Washington Post, who was briefly suspended from her job, if I have this right, for posting on Twitter comments basically to the effect of “We ought to consider this, as well.” Perhaps in stronger language. But like..

 

Jessa: I don’t really know why that’s suspension-worthy.

 

Nick: Well, right.

 

Jessa: Whether I agree with her or not, like..

 

Nick: So. You know. And then. You know. A separate conversation was when, is it too soon to talk about this aspect of his life? The rape case. Is there such a thing as too soon? When is the appropriate time? Etc etc etc. So look.

 

Jessa: Well, and also, part of why, I mean. I think I immediately was texting you, like, “We need to do this” because some of the things that people were posting were reciting facts that were pretty inconsistent with what I understood the actual facts to be. And whatever you decide about Kobe Bryant and his guilt or innocence, I think we should at least make those decisions based on the most accurate version of the facts that is available.

 

Nick: Yes.

 

Jessa: That’s just a thing I want.

 

Nick: And frankly, that’s one way of describing what we, you and I do in this podcast. We go back to..

 

Jessa: Primary sources. The actual record.

 

Nick: Sometimes famous cases or otherwise noteworthy cases, and we do our level best to get to primary sources and actually, you know, roll up our sleeves and try and understand, legally, why a case went the way it went.

 

Jessa: Right.

 

Nick: Not relying on media coverage to, you know, form our opinion about whether a case ended correctly or incorrectly, etc etc. We want to know, you know, what actual evidence existed. What evidence was presented to a jury or would have been presented to a jury? Why would that evidence have been presented? Why might other evidence have been excluded? And when you do that, I think, the way that cases end becomes a lot more understandable. And so that’s what we’re going to do here. And look. I don’t feel like we’re engaging in some kind of sensationalization of..

 

Jessa: Oh god. I don’t want that at all.

 

Nick: No.

 

Jessa: Like, not in the slightest. I think, like, do I think that people are interested in this right now? Yeah, absolutely. It’s become topical, and so that was part of the motivation. But it’s not my desire to, somehow, capitalize on this tragedy. That’s not my brand.

 

Nick: No. This is also, maybe this is a time to talk about, more than one thing can be true, simultaneously.

 

Jessa: Absolutely.

 

Nick: People can be good and bad. Good people can do bad things. Bad people can do good things. I have no opinion about what kind of human being Kobe Bryant was. I’m not in a position to know that. It’s not my position, my job to make moral decisions. We’re just gonna talk about the law.

 

Jessa: Right. The facts and the law.

 

Nick: That’s right.

 

Jessa: And so, with that, there are two sort of housekeeping things I want to say. This episode in particular, but also the whole series of Kobe Bryant episodes, we’re gonna be talking about, like, soup to nuts, trench level evidence in a sexual assault case. So we’re gonna talk about the accuser’s statement. We’re gonna talk about the defendant’s statement. We’re gonna talk about the rape shield issues. We’re gonna talk about the prelim, we’re gonna talk about testimony, which includes information, okay? And some of that is hard to listen to, both because it contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault, but also, it is embarrassing and uncomfortable and awkward, and will probably fuck you up if you’re not in a head space to listen to it. So if that sort of frank discussion about the facts surrounding an alleged sexual assault upset you, these may not be the episodes for you.

 

Nick: Indeed. And let me say one other thing that I think could be upsetting to many human beings. Another thing that we’re going to be talking about is the way this case proceeded compared to how other cases proceed with the one, the variable that is different, which the media attention.

 

Jessa: The celebrity. Right.

 

Nick: And so that produced some really ugly stuff. And that may also be very upsetting, understandably so, to lots of people. I think it’s appropriate to say that and ask people to be mindful of that. And to consider whether or not that’s something they want to reflect on. Now again, there are portions of this that are gonna be very legal.

 

Jessa: Yeah.

 

Nick: To some people, perhaps, dryly so. There’s gonna be other parts that are all about the facts including, as you said, statements that are not dry and legal. At least, in the recitation. And there will be discussion of what happened, you know, sort of, extra judicial things. Things that took place outside the courtroom that are also suboptimal. They are ugly. They are unfortunate. It’s not the way, I think, anyone would wish the world to operate. But it’s the way it went in this case and it is relevant to what took place inside the courtroom.

 

Jessa: Well. And so, look. I know this woman’s name, okay? It’s very easy to find this woman’s name. It’s on the internet. It was on the internet in 2003. It’s on the internet today. You can find it. I’m not gonna use it because I don’t see the value in that, okay? I don’t. And I’m not gonna do it. But I am going to talk about what statements were made, and also, what things were discussed in the sort of public opinion arena that may have influenced a jury. And the fact that they were discussed is why I want to talk about them. However, the fact that they were discussed is sometimes, like, pretty fucking gross, yo. I have a lot of really adverse, negative opinions about the way the media handled this case. And I’m not sharing what they did in an effort to shame or embarrass any party related to this case. It’s just what happened, and for me to be able to talk about that in a meaningful way, you need to know what happened. So to the extent that that feels exploitative or uncomfortable, I get that. I hear you. But I hope that if you’ve listened for this long, you trust that Nick and I don’t do this, like, in vain or solely for purposes of, like, being salacious.

 

Nick: I would prefer not to discuss that aspect at all. But I think we have to discuss it in this case because it affected the case.

 

Jessa: Right. The other thing is when we get to the pretrial motions part of this conversation, we did not one, but two, yes, two episodes on Patreon, specifically deep diving into both the history of rape shield law in the US and every argument that was made in the actual rape shield motion filed by the defence in this case. So we’re gonna do some of that here, but we’re not gonna go nearly as much into detail as we did. If you’re interested in that, like, if that. It’s only a dollar a month to get those, okay? So go join us on Patreon. We’re at Getting Off Pod.

 

Nick: Right. I’ll add one more thing on that. I said this on Patreon and I’ll say it now, but more quickly. Jessa is as big an expert on rape shield law in the state of Wisconsin as anybody out there, period, end of story. So if you want to hear an analysis of a specific legal issue by someone who is truly an objective leading expert on the topic, go to Patreon, because that’s what you get.

 

Jessa: Nick is nice to me.

 

Nick: Alright. So.

 

Jessa: So let’s set the scene.

 

Nick: Do we have any other…

 

Jessa: No. Those are our disclaimers, I think.

 

Nick: Okay. Indeed. Let’s set the scene.

 

Jessa: We’re going back to June 30th of 2003 in Colorado, at a place called The Cordillera lodge.

 

Nick: The lodge and spa at Cordillera near Edwards, Colorado.

 

Jessa: Which is, basically, next to Vail.

 

Nick: Near Vail. He was staying there because the next day, he was scheduled to have knee surgery in Vail. That is what brought Kobe Bryant to this location.

 

Jessa: Correct. And the woman that becomes the complaining witness in this case, okay? So the person that accuses him. And I’m going to use the word ‘accuser’ because that’s what I believe is the appropriate word when someone hasn’t been convicted, okay?

 

Nick: Yeah, I will probably use the word ‘complainant’.

 

Jessa: Yeah. That’s fine, too. The accuser was a 19 year old young woman. So, young. Okay? Late adolescent woman, who was essentially working a front desk job at this hotel and was working the night that he was checking in. When he checks in, she shows him around and ultimately, ends up taking him to his room. They go into the room together. Everybody agrees that there was a consensual kiss between the two parties within the room. And then there’s a five to ten minute period of time where the two versions of events wildly diverge. We’ll talk about what each side says about that shortly.

And after that, we have, this young woman, leaving the room. By eyewitness account, she was disheveled and distraught. She was in tears. She tells a version of what we’re about to describe to a coworker of hers that was also a friend. He gives her a ride home. She discloses the same rough version of events to her mother in the early morning hours of July 1st of 2003, and she ultimately contacts police. But what I think is such a great, like, learning point. Like a learning platform here is setting aside the celebrity and the notoriety, what we’re about to talk about really parallels what virtually every sexual assault case you and I handle looks like at the beginning stages. And what is that? That’s the two people who were in the room that have very different versions of events. Now that isn’t to say that I think this is a He-Said-She-Said case, and I’ll talk about why later. But we always start with, there are two people in the room. One is making a claim. The other is refuting that claim. What do they say? So let’s talk about that.

 

Nick: Right. And when we’re, relevant point. Here, as is the norm, there were two people in the room and no one else, right? Because, I mean. Most acts of intimacy. I mean. There’s two ways to look at it. Number one: acts of consensual intimacy are generally done in private. And a person who is intending to commit an act of non-consensual, you know, assault, sexual assault on someone probably wouldn’t do that with an audience, knowing that it was a crime. So these are crimes, this is a type of crime that is more, generally committed with no other witnesses or often. So we are left with, in terms of the people who have direct knowledge of what happened, those two people and those two people only and they have accounts, as you just described. So I think we are going to get to what these folks said. Now, she speaks with police..

 

Jessa: Before he does.

 

Nick: Yeah. The next day. June 1st.

 

Jessa: And then she does a sexual assault nurse’s examination on July 2nd. He also does a July 2nd sexual assault nurse’s exam, or a SANE exam. You’ll hear us use that abbreviation. A suspect side exam on July 2nd, and then he makes a statement either July 2nd or July 3rd. He’s arrested July 4th, but he makes a statement and is not arrested at the end of it, before the July 4th arrest. So what does she tell you?

Let me start there. Here’s what she says. She says that she was working the front desk and that she learned that someone who had checked in or was about to arrive using a name other than Kobe Bryant was, in fact, Kobe Bryant. She acknowledges that she knew who he was, that she was, at least, a passive fan, and that she had an interest in meeting him. She shows him his, you know, the people he arrives with, his entourage, around the hotel. And they arrange to have her come back and meet him privately to quote-unquote “give him a tour of the hotel”. That happens around 10:30pm, and she takes him one on one through the spa, the exercise room, the outdoor pool, the jacuzzi, all of that.

And then they go back to his room, and that, per her, and per him, but we’re talking about her first, was completely consensual. There were no, she doesn’t describe any apparent red flags there. That was all stuff that she was comfortable with. So he’s asking basically “When do you get off of work?” and she’s saying “Well, my shift is basically over. I’m gonna go home.” He wanted her to stay. She stands up to leave and asks him to give her a hug. And they hug, and he kisses her. And she kisses him back. And what she says, and again, we’ll cover what he says later, but what she says is that that kissing continued and then he took his pants off. And that’s when she tried to back up, away from him, to leave, and he started to choke her. And by that, I mean, put his arms around her neck, his hands around her neck. And the police asked her “Well, what were you thinking then?”

And she said “Well, I was thinking that his actions were getting physical and I wanted to get outta there”. She thinks that they kissed for about five minutes, consensually, but then he started to grope her. And what she meant by that was putting his hands on her, grabbing her buttocks, her chest, trying to lift up her skirt, taking his own pants off, trying to grab her hand and force it onto his genital area. She says that she then exclaimed that she needed to leave, that he didn’t really respond to that, he didn’t recognize that she wanted to leave, and that, in response, he got kind of rough with her, that he took his pants off, and she was backing up, and sort of pushing him, and that’s when he choked her.

She said he wasn’t choking so forcefully that she couldn’t breathe, but it was forcefully enough to scare her. And then he started grabbing and rubbing her vaginal area over her underwear for two to three minutes and that during that, she tried to pull away. He grabbed her neck with both arms, that she didn’t say anything, but he knew she was trying to leave because she kept trying to back away and move towards the door.

She says he put his body between her and the door. She tried to walk around him and he continued to tighten the grip around her neck. And that his hands were sort of on her neck and then on her breasts and her butt, groping her. She was trying to leave. And she didn’t really know what to do or to say. At that point, he physically forced her over to the side of a couch that was in the room, that he always had at least one hand around her neck, and that he was sort of guiding her with his other hand.

Keep in mind, he’s obviously quite a tall, well-built person. I don’t have any stats about what her build was, but I assume she wasn’t NBA size. He bent her over the side of two chairs and lifted up her skirt. She said that at that point, she was basically really scared and kinda said no, but she didn’t know what to do. She was, somewhat, in shock that he pulled her underwear off. She believed that he had heard her say no because everytime she said no, he choked her harder. And that with one arm still around her neck, he would lean in really close to her and ask, like, “You’re not gonna tell anybody about this, right? This is just between you and me.” And that she said no because she, you know, wanted to be let go. And that he essentially demanded that she say it louder.

And that he was very focused on making sure that this was a secret, and she kept saying “No, I’m not gonna tell anyone.” And that she said that not because she meant it, but because she was afraid he would escalate the physical violence if she said anything otherwise. After he had taken her underwear off, he penetrated her with his penis from behind and, you know, engaged in sexual intercourse with her, non-consensually. And that he leaned in and whispered to her “Do you like it..” Apologies, folks. “Do you like it when a man cums on your face?” And that she said “No” and that he got angry and said “What did you just say?” and choked her harder, and told her “I’m gonna do it, anyway.”

She said at that point, she started to fight back and was sort of pulling at the hands around her neck, and that she felt like she was trying as hard as she could to get away, but she couldn’t, and that she started crying. Basically, right thereafter, he did ejaculate inside of her and that while he was doing, he was making small talk, saying “Hey. I like Vail, Colorado.” After he climaxed, she stood up and turned around and he was, like, “Sit here for a minute. Calm down. Wash your face. Clean yourself up. You look a mess.”

And that she did that, per his instruction, and that he warned “Nobody’s gonna find out about this.” And then she left. Now, he tells, he’s interviewed, as well. He tells a really different version of that, and we’ll talk about what he says shortly here, but first, we have a sponsor.

 

Nick: We do, indeed. Our sponsor for this episode is 

 

Jessa: Dude, that was the least seamless transition. Like, “Here are these terrible facts about an alleged sexual assault. Also! Our sponsor!”

 

Nick: I mean, it’s challenging. It’s hard because this..

 

Jessa: Sorry.

 

Nick: This is a hard episode, and that was a hard part of a hard episode. That’s hard to listen to.

 

Jessa: Yeah!

 

Nick: So I’m not sure how we do that better, but..

 

Jessa: But anyway! Segue! Dot dot dot...

 

Nick: We are pausing our account of this portion of the Kobe Bryant rape case to talk about our sponsor for this episode.

 

Jessa: Which is another podcast. A podcast named Nightgeist, hosted by two lovely ladies, Erica and Liana. They’re best friends who live in separate places. One is in Northern California. The other’s in LA. They both love the paranormal and they have since they were kids, and they keep doing research and learn as much as they can about all things strange and unusual.

 

Nick: Indeed. Erica is a lover of ghosts and hauntings, while Liana enjoys all things sci-fi and extraterrestrial. Nightgeist is a weekly paranormal podcast, and they consider themselves the lighter side of horror. They cover the paranormal, conspiracy theories, true crime, and all things spooky, on a weekly basis.

 

Jessa: They also love wine (women after my own heart), and consider it the third co-host (me too) of every episode. They don’t take themselves too seriously. They’re not experts, but they’ve really committed a ridiculous amount of factoids to memory about the supernatural. Nightgeist is spelled N-I-G-H-T-G-E-I-S-T. One word. Just like poltergeist.

 

Nick: Indeed. The show is self-produced. So give them a listen. Join these two longtime friends and lovers of the macabre on their quest to solve the unknown, hunt down monsters, and commune with the dead while drinking. No spooky topic or beverage is off limits. Prepare to be beamed up.

 

Jessa: They describe themselves as being people who enjoy the strange, bizarre, and unknown, including: bigfoot, ghosts, aliens, and murder. And that they are the two-woman show talking about the lighter side of horror weekly by asking the questions no one else asks. Like, is the Mothman just a lonely dude?

 

Nick: Do aliens run if you throw rocks at them? Is Bigfoot just a small guy with oddly large feet?

 

Jessa: Can you make friends with a ghost?

 

Nick: Well, they cover it all, including weekly weird news. So. They are on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and everywhere else podcasts are heard. You can also find them on Patreon for additional content.

 

Jessa: So check it out. Alright. We heard what she said. Should we talk about what he said?

 

Nick: Well, okay. So let’s talk about this. So that is, later in the day on July 1st, that she gives this statement or answers these questions, gives this account to law enforcement. That interview is recorded. And after that, the police, law enforcement goes looking to make contact with Kobe Bryant and interview him, which they do, back at, I believe, at the lodge and spa. And by the time they actually wind up speaking to him, it is the next day. But they, you know. They head over there late at night and this goes into the wee hours of the morning. And so, their interview with him starts at something like..

 

Jessa: 2am or something.

 

Nick: Yeah.

 

Jessa: Yeah. So out the gate, first of all, he’s not mirandized cause he’s not in custody, okay? He’s in his hotel room. He is free to leave. They’re just collecting information. He chooses to answer questions or at least, he never asks for a lawyer. He starts out by denying having any sexual contact with her. Okay? So start there. And after they basically say, “Look, we’re not gonna tell your wife” and he had expressed concern that, like, if his wife heard that he was accused of this, she’d be furious. They say “We’re not gonna tell your wife” and he’s like “Alright. Look. I did have sex with this woman. It was consensual, though.” He also then says, like, “Yeah, I did choke her. That’s typically how I engage in sexual activity.”

He acknowledges really early on in the interview that he does that regularly, and ultimately, offers up the name of another woman, also not his wife, first name, Michelle, who could corroborate that this is, like, sort of how he do. Alright. He, they sort of introduce some of the facts of what she’s saying, which is, you know, that she’s gone and done an examination, that she alleges that she was bleeding from her vaginal area, that there was apparent force here. He says there was no blood anywhere.

He claims to be shocked by that. Offers, you know, offers his boxers to say “Test them. There’s not gonna be any blood” and throws the t-shirt that he was wearing at them, which later is tested, and does have her blood on it, and it wasn’t menstrual blood. Okay. He also says “I never explicitly got verbal consent from her”, although he backs off that proposition a little later in the interview. He, at this point, is 24 years old, is married, and has a 6-month old daughter at home. He brings that up as his hesitation about talking about this.

What he continues to say is it was absolutely consensual, that even though he didn’t ask for that, he could tell, and the police push him and say “Well, how could you tell that?” And he says a few things. He says that she offered to show him a tattoo of music notes on her back somewhere, and made a joke about “Well, I’m gonna have to show you my whole ass, but maybe I will anyway”, that she, he says she kissed him first versus him kissing her.

He says that then she bent over the couch and sort of offered herself up to him, that she took her hand and put it on his genital area outside of his clothes, which he took as an indication of consent. And that that is how that started. He offers some, like, sort of spontaneous thoughts that I flagged because they were interesting to me.

 

Nick: Sure.

 

Jessa: Which is, in response to the question “Can you tell us what happened?”, he says “Did she say I did something to her?”

 

Nick: And that’s early on.

 

Jessa: That’s before he even knows that he’s being investigated for a sexual assault. I offer that because I think that’s interesting that that’s the first place he goes. He then says it was totally consensual and keeps asking “Is there any way I can just settle this?” And speculates that she must be making this accusation cause she’s after money. Like, you know. He’s like “There’s gotta be a reason that she’s saying this. It must be about money. Can’t I just fix this in some way?” He describes kissing for a couple minutes, that then she started to go down on him, that she gave him a blowjob and I’m quoting “five seconds, and then I told her to get up off her knees because she didn’t know what she was doing”.

 

Nick: Yeah. I feel like you may be bringing us into the portions, portions plural, of this interview that are not flattering to Kobe Bryant. Like, in a particular way. Like, the way in which. Like, the tone of the way he just talks about this young woman and their interactions, which he claims are consensual..

 

Jessa: And he didn’t know her name. Okay. That is established early. He says she’s not very good at oral sex. He, at this point, inserts that she did say at some point that she hoped he would fuck her, quote.

 

Nick: He claims that.

 

Jessa: Yeah. The police ask him when he’s saying “Well, she must want money”, they say “Well, would you pay her?” And his response is “Yeah, I’d have to.” Okay. He then describes the sexual intercourse. He acknowledges that he was choking her because that is something he enjoys during sex, that he did ask her if he could ejaculate on her face, and that she said no. And he notes that “Hey. I thought she was cool, so you know, I stopped after that.” meaning he ceased the sexual activity. He denies having ejaculated as part of the sex and that, instead, he masturbated after she left and ejaculated onto his t-shirt. He also says that after he stopped having sex with her, she then got herself dressed and asked for a couple of autographs. He tells the police that he did not give her said autographs because, and I’m quoting “sometimes I feel like signing shit on the spot, and sometimes I don’t.”

 

Nick: Okay.

 

Jessa: He did agree to take a lie detector test in response to police asking him. The police represent to him that she had also agreed to do that. Now, police are allowed to lie to suspects in interrogations, so I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s the representation. And this scene sort of closes in my mind with the police, basically, trying to establish a rapport and saying, like “Look. You’re a famous guy. This is probably a thing that happens. Maybe it was totally consensual. Maybe it got away from you, but look. She’s an attractive young lady.” At which point, he interjects “Well, she’s not that attractive”.

 

Nick: Yeah. Right. And it does appear that they’re trying to establish a rapport with him, or be somewhat respectful with him from the beginning because they say “Look. This is serious stuff. We need to talk to you about this. But we understand that you’re a public figure. That’s why we came late at night. That’s why we suggested going back to your room, doing this somewhat discreetly and privately. So because we don’t have any intention of telling your wife..”

 

Jessa: Well, and I think they were actually pretty straight up with him, where they were, like “Look. It’s not our purpose to try and put this in the media. We can’t tell you, depending on what happens, it might be. We don’t know.”

 

Nick: That’s not their job. That’s not what they do. That’s not their purpose. They also say “Look. You know. That’s just not something we have control over”. And that’s not the police’s job, you know? So I do think the fact, they clearly did try to treat him with a certain amount of discretion and respect. Perhaps that was legitimately offered. Perhaps it was part of an effort to make him comfortable and perhaps more willing to talk to them. But that’s what it was. And, I mean. This is still a really, a pretty young guy. Older than the complainant, but either 23 or 24.

 

Jessa: He was 23 or 24. She was 19.

 

Nick: With a lot of resources at his disposal, but he did not invoke. He really doesn’t talk about lawyers at that point. Any attorney reading this would wish, if this person ever became their client or had been their client, that he would not have agreed to…

 

Jessa: Oh god. The optics, alone, of my client saying “She wasn’t that attractive” makes me want to crawl under my desk. Like. That’s actually not a statement that’s particularly material to consent or non-consent, but is just something that I don’t like coming out of a defendant’s mouth.

 

Nick: No. And he comes across as an entitled..

 

Jessa: Oh yeah.

 

Nick: Asshole, basically. This is an unflattering interview. Like, he comes across gross. Even in his own account of what happened. His own account which he says was consensual, he still comes across very poorly.

 

Jessa: It’s hard to like the guy, reading this. Okay. It is. So he’s arrested two days later. He participates in this SANE exam in the interim. Then the prosecution spends over two weeks reviewing all of the reports and the evidence that exist at that point, before ultimately issuing a single count criminal complaint, alleging sexual intercouse with use or threat of force, which is a very high degree felony. Looks like, from my quick and dirty research, minimum of roughly four years in prison, maximum of roughly life. I can’t speak to, like, if Colorado is a truth-in-sentencing state or parole state.

 

Nick: Or was at the time. But the bottom line is it was a very serious felony charge, for which there were severe consequences of all sorts of varieties, right? The immediate direct consequences of felony, there appears to be mandatory prison time, but for him, there were enormous collateral, potential collateral consequences.

 

Jessa: I have a fun fact for you.

 

Nick: Sure. What’d you got?

 

Jessa: Do you know what his cash bail was?

 

Nick: No.

 

Jessa: $25,000. So I mention this because..

 

Nick: What are we getting at? What are we getting at by bringing that up? That is a surprisingly low amount of money for this particular human being in this particular case, given the facts. Right? He flew there, to Colorado originally, on his private jet.

 

Jessa: He doesn’t live in Colorado. He has no ties to Colorado. There’s no reason to believe that he’d make himself available to Colorado.

 

Nick: He would certainly have the means to not do that.

 

Jessa: Easily.

 

Nick: And $25,000 to him is very little, right?

 

Jessa: And this is a high level felony. And look. Your average Joe Schmoe might not be able to post that $25,000, but this guy definitely could. So that’s a nominal, I mean. Look. I’m not aware that he has a criminal history and he cooperated with police, so I can make an argument for why it should be a non-cash bail situation regardless. But given what people would expect or, like, in contrast to the bail that was set for R. Kelly recently in Illinois, it’s pretty different.

 

Nick: Look. If you are going to impose cash bail. Now. I don’t know what Colorado statutes said at that time in 2003, but if you’re going to impose cash bail, it is always tied, at least in part, to concerns of whether or not the person, the defendant will make themselves available to the criminal process. So if you think that’s necessary at all, is $25,000 gonna be what makes a difference to Kobe Bryant in terms of whether he shows or doesn’t show? To him, that’s not a significant amount of money. And again. This is a guy who certainly has the resources to flee or not show up if that is what he decided to do. So that’s sort of a silly..

 

Jessa: I just wanted you to know that.

 

Nick: Yeah.

 

Jessa: This is what the police knew at the time with a few additional things. Number one: the coworker of this woman corroborated her version of events. He was able to describe that she was disheveled and upset. He described the disclosure. It was consistent with what I’ve just recited. He described driving her home. He observed blood on her person. The SANE examination, which was done on July 2nd, revealed that there was a bruise on her neck, and vaginal tearing. That is all that was known by way of evidence collection before this case was charged. When we come back next time, we’re gonna talk about what else was made public about this in the early stages of this, and who made it public, and who is at fault for that.

 

Nick: And what all of that means. And why it may be important to talk about who bears responsibility for different facts or alleged facts becoming public knowledge. Under, in general, right, we’re gonna look at that in the context of the criminal justice system generally, but also, there is some specifics to Colorado at that time, right? The law’s the law. And so. Because you and I have some problems with how it is depicted these days in sort of, like…

 

Jessa: Oh, I have so much to say about that.

 

Nick: Yeah. And it’s, it is, legally, a legally fascinating story, I think, in many regards. It’s also upsetting in many regards, as well. Okay. So we will continue on, moving past the initial charging stage of the Kobe Bryant case in our next episode.

 

Jessa: Yeah. In the meantime, I’m Jessa.

 

Nick: I’m Nick.

 

Jessa: This was Getting Off.

Copyright 2020 by Getting Off Podcast, LLC.