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Legal Analysis of Kobe Bryant Sexual Assault Case

Aired October 15, 2003 - 21:00   ET


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am confident in the people's case versus Kobe Bryant.


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight: Kobe Bryant back in court, more stunning developments in his sexual assault case. Bryant's lawyer claims she's got compelling evidence to clear Bryant. And a detective testifies the alleged victim had another man's sperm in her underwear.

With the latest, Krista Flannigan from the Eagle County, Colorado, DA's office. In Chicago, veteran journalist Bill Kurtis, host of an A&E documentary on the Kobe Bryant case. In Atlanta, defense attorney Chris Pixley. In New York, psychologist and Court TV commentator Dr. Robi Ludwig and former prosecutor, John Quillian (ph) Kelly. On the scene in Eagle, Colorado, Tony Kovaleski of KMGH-TV. Plus Todd Potestio, former coach of a key witness in the case, the bellhop who spoke with the alleged victim immediately after the incident. And Jeremy Treatman, Kobe Bryant's high school basketball coach. They are all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Welcome to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

Let's go straight out to Colorado. Standing by is Krista Flannigan. She is with the Colorado district attorney's office. Welcome, Krista. First of all...


GRACE: ... were you surprised at today's proceedings?

FLANNIGAN: No, Nancy, we weren't at all. Today,we felt that we established enough probable cause for the judge to bind this case over into district court.

GRACE: Now, did today go as preliminary hearings normally go, divided into two different segments, a lot of closed-door proceedings?

FLANNIGAN: It was unusual that portions of the hearing were closed, but the judge had stated in an order a couple of weeks ago that he was going to reserve the right to close certain portions of the hearing based on particular evidence that could potentially be presented.

GRACE: Now, when do you expect the judge to rule, Krista? Why not rule from the bench? He's heard the evidence.

FLANNIGAN: Well, the judge stated that he wants to provide a written ruling, and he hopes to do so by Monday.

GRACE: You know, Krista, this defense team, Pamela Mackey and the rest of the defense team -- very high-powered, very high-profile, excellent track record as defense attorneys. But it seems as if it's a tried-and-true defense. Either the victim is a nut or she's a tramp. We got a taste of both of those in court. Did you expect more?

FLANNIGAN: Well, you know, one of the things we have to remember was that this is a sanitized version of the facts and evidence that were presented today. This is a preliminary hearing, not a trial. Prosecutors do not put on all of their evidence during a preliminary hearing. One of the things that we have maintained from the beginning is that we are not going to try this case with the general public, but rather in a court of law.

GRACE: Do you expect the case to go forward to trial within this year, Krista?

FLANNIGAN: You know, it's difficult to speculate that, depending on what the calendars look like.

GRACE: Well, there was a big uproar in the courtroom last week, when the hearing kicked off, Krista, when Pamela Mackey used the victim's name not once, twice, three, four, five but six times in open court. We heard the judge was frustrated. Is there any sanction attached to that type of behavior?

FLANNIGAN: Well, I'm not going to comment about what possible sanctions might be available.

GRACE: Question. We never heard Kobe Bryant's statement to police. We understand that it was tape-recorded. Why not?

FLANNIGAN: That was one of the elements that the judge decided should be possibly heard in chambers.

GRACE: You know, a lot of confusion about what went down behind closed doors, speaking of those in camera or in-chambers hearings. Is that why you are referring to today's events as the sanitized version, because we didn't really hear what was going on?

FLANNIGAN: Well, I guess what I mean by that moreso is that you don't get all of the facts in evidence. And yes, part of it has does have to do with the fact that there were some things that were deliberated behind closed doors.

GRACE: You know, it's my understanding that the rape shield laws are to protect the victim's sexual past from coming into evidence. The trial hasn't even started. We don't have a jury yet, and we already know about her yellow underwear. Why did the rape shield law fail?

FLANNIGAN: Well, what the judge stated was that he wanted to stick with the spirit of the rape shield law, but in Colorado, it's not specific that a preliminary hearing is covered under our rape shield statute. So one of the concerns that we had was that some of that evidence and some of the statements that were made violates the spirit of the rape shield statute.

GRACE: So the rape shield statute will be in effect when the jury of 12 is selected. Is that correct, Krista?

FLANNIGAN: The rape shield statute specifically mentions the trial.

GRACE: So Krista Flannigan, everyone, is with us from the district attorney's office there in Eagle, Colorado. From you, Krista, what's the next step? When do you expect the judge's ruling? And where do we go from there?

FLANNIGAN: Well, the judge, as I said before, will possibly make a ruling on Monday. He may not. He's made that clear. And from there, if the case is bound over to district court, there will be a first appearance scheduled. At that first appearance, the defendant is -- bond is discussed again, and he is advised of his rights. There may not or may be an arraignment, and an arraignment is when the defendant makes their plea.

GRACE: Krista...

FLANNIGAN: And from that point -- go ahead.

GRACE: Go ahead. Does this go on...

FLANNIGAN: No, I was just...

GRACE: ... to another judge -- does this go on...

FLANNIGAN: Yes, this goes to...

GRACE: ... to another judge?

FLANNIGAN: ... the district court. Yes, this goes on to a district court judge.

GRACE: Do we already know who the next judge is going to be, or is it assigned by random?

FLANNIGAN: We don't have that confirmed as of this time.

GRACE: Last question. In the real world, when do you expect this case to go to trial?

FLANNIGAN: As I said, you know, I really can't speculate at this time. It just -- we'll have to look at calendars, see, you know, if the case is bound over, when an arraignment occurs. That's really what will be a little bit more telling for us. GRACE: Any possibility of a plea negotiation?

FLANNIGAN: I can't comment on any possible plea negotiations.

GRACE: Everyone, let's go to the rest of our guests to join in with Krista. First question to you, John Quillian Kelly. What was the biggest surprise in the courtroom today?

JOHN Q. KELLY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I think the big surprises today were the presence of semen in undergarments. So when it first came out with the media, they didn't make it clear that the undergarment was something that she'd worn to the hospital the following day, that they weren't the undergarments that she wore the night of the alleged assault. So that was an initial bombshell. It was kind of softened later on when it came out they weren't the actual undergarments.

And secondly, the single pubic hair that was found on the alleged accuser also there was consistent with a Caucasian, not Kobe Bryant. I think those were the two forensic pieces of evidence that came out that people weren't aware of before.

GRACE: So Chris Pixley, defense attorney joining us from Atlanta, it sounds as if the victim may be guilty of felony dirty laundry. Response?

CHRIS PIXLEY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I agree with John, Nancy, that one of the most surprising events today are these revelations about the semen and somebody else's pubic hair -- obviously, very indelicate issues that we're talking about on national television, all over the broadcasts.

But you know, it's also interesting that just within the last 24 hours, the prosecution filed motions saying that Pam Mackey didn't have any basis for the assertion that she made last week that the defendant -- or that the accuser -- excuse me -- may have been involved with three other men in the course of the three days surrounding this alleged assault. And then today, the judge allows in this evidence, and whether it's a preliminary hearing or not, it has to have a really big impact on the potential jury.

GRACE: You know, John, let me get out my solar calculator, but from what I understand, you've got the allegation that there's another man's sperm...

KELLY: Right.

GRACE: ... in a pair of old underwear that had been worn previously and put back on the day of the hospital.

KELLY: Could have been weeks, months ago, laundered once, twice...


KELLY: ... the evidence (UNINTELLIGIBLE) there. GRACE: Yes. And you've got a Caucasian pubic hair.

KELLY: Right.

GRACE: In my mind, that could equal one other man. Where is three coming from?

KELLY: I think it's clear Miss Mackey did not have a good-faith basis for asking that specific question. All you have, basically, is the accuser admitted to one -- some sexual activity three days prior, OK? The pubic hair would be consistent with that. The semen could have been from weeks or months ago. There's no indication that it was three men in three days, and everything indicates quite the opposite.

PIXLEY: But there's no indication that this is just dirty laundry, as you're suggesting, Nancy. I mean, this is the underwear that she was wearing to the hospital on the day that she is, in fact, being examined.

KELLY: Yes, but Chris, it's not...


KELLY: ... not the undergarment she was wearing the night of the assault.

PIXLEY: No. That's...

KELLY: It's a day later, and it's not relevant. It's immaterial just...


PIXLEY: Well, I agree with -- I agree with that, John, but I don't know that there is no basis for suggesting that she was with three different men on three different days. She has now admitted to us that she was with two men. She claims that one of them raped her. And on the third day, she goes to the hospital and she's examined there, and the undergarments she's wearing there at the hospital show sexual activity. Again, remember, two days earlier, she says she did have consensual sex, but she says it was with a condom. So I think that's how you add up to three -- the man with the condom, Kobe Bryant and whomever is responsible for the semen in her undergarments.

KELLY: And where do you come up with three straight days, though? She said three days.

PIXLEY: Again -- you're right, John. I don't know that you can say that it's three days. I don't know that you can say that it's not three days.

GRACE: Everybody, let's go to Tony Kovaleski. He is with KMGH- TV. He has been in the courtroom to give us the latest. High, Tony. What is the latest, as of tonight?

TONY KOVALESKI, KMGH-TV: Hi, Nancy. Well, again, opinions really varying in and out of the courtroom today, some people coming out and saying that -- one observer actually said that the Denver Nuggets have a better chance of winning the NBA championship than the prosecution has of getting a guilty verdict after what we heard in the courtroom, other people saying, Don't rush to judgment. The prosecution hasn't played its best cards yet. So a wide variety of opinions, but clearly in the courtroom today, Nancy, the defense scored points.

GRACE: No doubt about that, of course, Tony. You expect that on cross-examination. Everybody, joining us at the scene -- he's been in the courtroom throughout the preliminary hearing, Tony Kovaleski of KMGH-TV.

And when we come back, Dr. Robi Ludwig will be weighing in. She's a psychologist and a former rape counselor, as well as A&E's Bill Kurtis. Stay with us.


QUESTION: Are you scared?

KOBE BRYANT: Terrified. Terrified. Not much -- not much -- not so much for myself, but just for what my family's been going through. They had nothing to do with this. And just because their names are being dragged in the mud, I'm scared for them.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

Let's go straight to Bill Kurtis of A&E. Bill, your special on the Kobe Bryant case re-airing on Sunday night, correct?


GRACE: I've seen it. It's fantastic.

KURTIS: Thank you, Nancy.

GRACE: So what's your response to the bombshells dropped in the courtroom today, Bill?

KURTIS: I think they were bombshells. I think it's devastating to the prosecution, especially in the court of public opinion, and that's what we're talking about right now.

There were three pieces of evidence that I picked up on cross- examination that I think really change us from wanting to disbar Pamela Mackey last week to thinking she is very, very smart. One is the sperm evidence, which can be used to suggest that someone else caused the injuries. Two, no one has mentioned -- and I hope I'm not misreading the report -- that the accuser never said no, that, in fact, she said -- or Detective Withers (ph) said that, yes, she told him that when she forcefully took away his hand -- indeed, pried his body off of her -- then he stopped.

And three, the night auditor now comes into play as the very first person that she saw, 10 minutes after she went up to the room. And when he saw her, there seemed to be no trouble at all. It wasn't the bellman, as we heard today.

So we have charges going back and forth between prosecution and defense. I think definitely it will go to trial, and I think the prosecution will put all of the things before the jury. But in my mind, the whole preliminary hearing swung back to the defense.

GRACE: Do you agree with that, Dr. Ludwig?

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely. Pamela Mackey did a brilliant job. At one point, she might have gone too far, when she seemed to be attacking the accuser. It could have gone the other way, and we could have felt sympathetic towards this poor 19-year-old girl who was, at the very least, rough-handled by Kobe Bryant. But now that we hear today's story, here you have this woman. She's at the very least promiscuous. Someone sees her right after the incident and she doesn't quite seem as distraught as she seems days later. And it just raises a lot of questions, especially since Kobe Bryant does not have this history.

GRACE: You know, maybe I can't add, but let me go to you, Tony Kovaleski. From what I understand from the hearing, the actual testimony, including the beginning of the preliminary hearing last week -- it's my understanding that the victim said no twice. Now, Detective Winters (ph) seemed to get that a little twisted around on the stand today. And please correct us all, Tony. You were there. It's my understanding there was sperm from one other donor. Is that correct?

KOVALESKI: Well, Nancy, on the issue of the sperm, there was another donor. But I would not overlook Pamela Mackey and her strength. If she said there's three, I would wait and see what happens if and when we get to trial.

Now, on the issue of the question with Detective Winters and whether she said no or whether she didn't, that is confusing. We heard earlier last week that she said no two times, but then in the court today, Detective Winters said he actually asked her the question, Why did you never tell Kobe Bryant no? So the question that comes from that is, Why would the detective ask that question if he knew, in fact, she said no two times? That wasn't cleared up.

Another key point, in addition to what Bill Kurtis mentioned, Nancy, was what happened at the doorway. And this came out in testimony today. The accuser apparently said that she voluntarily went into the room -- and another key point here, this came out of the detective's notes -- that the accuser said to him she knew when she went inside that she thought, quote, Kobe Bryant would put a move on her. So that, I think, was also very damaging to the prosecution, along with the points that Bill Kurtis made a while ago. A strong, strong day for the defense. GRACE: So Chris Pixley, isn't that the whole reasoning behind the theory of prosecuting date rapes, a woman can go on a date and anticipate kissing, hugging, flirting, but not necessarily agree to intercourse?

PIXLEY: Yes. Absolutely, Nancy. But of course, the prosecution is going to have to prove a lack of consent, one of the issues in this case, in a first-degree sexual assault crime, is whether or not there actually was force used or forced penetration, to be specific. And if the prosecution can't show that that occurred, or if the defense is allowed to defend those allegations by giving alternative explanations for her vaginal injuries, then you know, what we're left with is truly, at least potentially, a "he said, she said." And that's not good when the defendant is Kobe Bryant.

GRACE: Let me ask you this, John Quillian Kelly. What do you make of the night auditor, someone -- it's my understanding the bellhop saw her first, and she made the outcry to the bellhop -- very, very upset. Now we hear of a letter, unsolicited, by the night auditor, describing a very different story.

KELLY: Well, first of all, the accuser's 19 years old, and obviously, she would have felt a lot more comfortable with the 22- year-old bellhop, one of her peers, telling him exactly what happened afterwards. Night auditors are like -- you're talking accountants, tax attorneys, you know, boorish people not paying attention...

GRACE: Not exactly somebody...

KELLY: ... to emotions.

GRACE: ... you want to open up to.

KELLY: Yes. Yes, you don't go out drinking with.

LUDWIG: Right.

KELLY: And I think that can be explained away. The immediate outcry was to the bellhop, one of her peers, immediately afterwards.

LUDWIG: And also, it's not uncommon for rape victims to have a broad range of emotions, including laughing and being stoic at one moment. So just because somebody doesn't seem distraught initially, it doesn't necessarily mean that they weren't raped. They could be in shock and just not in touch with their emotions yet. So that doesn't necessarily mean that she wasn't raped.

GRACE: Yes. So Tony Kovaleski, bottom line, who does she speak to first, this night auditor that writes this unsolicited letter, the bellhop, who?

KOVALESKI: Well, if you believe what was testified in court today, it's the night auditor. She moves to the top of the list on primary witnesses, and Bobby the bellman moves to No. 2. But the night auditor, what she said, how she reacted and what kind of communication, both verbally and non-verbally, I think, are going to be a key point if and when we get to trial.

GRACE: And Tony, last question. Is the night auditor the alleged victim's boss?

KOVALESKI: That was not clear, Nancy. And although most of us know who the bellman is and everybody's talked about how he is a very, very credible witness, we do not know the name, at this point, of this night auditor. She has not made herself open and out to any of the journalists that I've talked to. So she really came in as a mystery witness today.

GRACE: Well, speaking of the bellhop, we are going to speak to one of his close friends as soon as we come back. Stay with us.


KURTIS (voice-over): ... we do know is that for the past year, the young woman attended the University of Northern Colorado. Her dream of a music career led her to audition for the hit TV show "American Idol." She didn't make the cut, and the closest she may have ever gotten to celebrities was working at the Cordillera (ph), where she met Kobe Bryant on that fateful night.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. And I want to thank you for being with us.

We've heard a lot about the bellboy, the bellhop that this alleged victim made her immediate outcry to. So let's go to a friend of Mr. Pietrack's. With us tonight, Todd Potestio. He has known the so-called bellhop since they were in the 6th grade and considers him a friend.

What can you tell us about your friend?

TODD POTESTIO, BELLBOY BOBBY PIETRACK'S FORMER BASKETBALL COACH: Actually, Nancy, I was his basketball coach. I'm known him since 6th grade. He's a great, wonderful kid. I've kind of come out publicly because I'm here to support him. I think, as a witness, he's going to be a terrific witness on both sides of the aisle.

GRACE: How old is he, at this point?

POTESTIO: How old is he?


POTESTIO: He is 22 years old.

GRACE: Now, is he from the Eagle, Colorado, area?

POTESTIO: Originally, he's from the Las Vegas, Nevada, area. And he moved in, I believe, in his 5th-grade year.

GRACE: OK. So what I'm getting at is, I wonder how long he has known the alleged victim and what they were relationship was. Any idea?

POTESTIO: Yes, I have some idea. Probably just an acquaintance. He would have been a senior when she was a freshman at the high school. Probably, no more than an acquaintance, is the relationship...

GRACE: Well, I hope -- I hope, Todd, that he is buckling his seatbelt because by the time it's all over, they will have them in some tryst, and he will be cross-examined extensively on their relationship. So you think it was an acquaintance relationship from there at the hotel, the spa?

POTESTIO: Well, absolutely. I mean, that is -- that is all that they are, is acquaintances. Any links to any sexual activity between the two is absurd. And that's kind of why I'm here, to talk about that.

GRACE: Well, tell us about it. And how is he holding up? I'm sure he is being hounded by defense detectives, state investigators, "The Enquirer," "The Globe," numerous others. How is he holding up?

POTESTIO: He's doing very well, actually. He's a type of kid that although this moment is tough, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) let it define him. I mean, he's doing the best he can right now.

GRACE: I've noticed that he has not sold his story. It would be very easy for him to do that, probably for a tubful of money. Have you talked to him since the incident?

POTESTIO: Yes. Several times. Absolutely.

GRACE: And what does he have to say? Is he standing behind the alleged victim?

POTESTIO: Well, you know what? He's going to be an important witness, like I said, on both sides of the aisle. All he can do is testify on what he saw or what he heard, her affect, how -- what her demeanor was. You know, he was not in the courtroom. He makes that very clear. He was not in the courtroom. And he's just...

GRACE: Not in the hotel room.

POTESTIO: ... going ahead and state the facts.

GRACE: He was not in the hotel room that night.

POTESTIO: I mean, yes. That's right. Yes. Yes.

GRACE: He will be in the courtroom.

POTESTIO: Not in the hotel room. That's...

GRACE: You can guarantee -- you can guarantee...

POTESTIO: Yes, he will.

GRACE: ... him that.

POTESTIO: Yes, he will.

GRACE: Now, it's my understanding...

POTESTIO: Absolutely.

GRACE: ... that he went to the same high school with her. He's known her a long time. You seem to think that Bobby Pietrack is a victim, as well. Why do you say that?

POTESTIO: Well, I mean, you know, from the last three months, he's been propelled into this sensational story, and it's affected his life. I mean, he's a 22-year-old college student trying to enjoy his senior year in college, on the basketball team, trying to have a good basketball season. Today was our first day of basketball practice collegiately for the season, and you know, he's got a lot on his mind. He should be focusing on that and not on the Kobe Bryant case.

GRACE: So he's a basketball player. I guess Kobe Bryant is someone he once looked up to. Does he still feel that way?

POTESTIO: Well, I think he's always felt Kobe Bryant was the -- like most of us do -- I do -- you know, the best basketball player in the world right now. It's a precarious position that he's in. Let's just say that.

GRACE: You said that he would be an important witness on both sides of the aisle. Why?

POTESTIO: Because the kid is just going to -- when asked questions from the prosecution, he's going to state what he knows. When asked by the defense, he will do the same. I think that -- you know, I've said any chance to discredit him may backfire because he is -- he's going to be admired by the jury. They're going to like him. He's a likable kid.

GRACE: Is he still working there at the hotel?

POTESTIO: Oh, no. He's in school right now. He's in school.

GRACE: So this was just...

POTESTIO: He is 250 miles away.

GRACE: ... a summer job for him. Oh, I see.

POTESTIO: Yes. It's been a summer job. Yes.

GRACE: Boy, I bet he wishes that was one summer job he had never taken, huh?

POTESTIO: Well, they pay great at Cordillera, so, you know, at the time, it was a good job.

GRACE: So long story short, are you telling me he still admires and looks up to Kobe Bryant, even after this incident?

KELLY: No, I'm not telling you that at all. I'm just saying, from a basketball standpoint, it's hard not to admire Kobe Bryant. He -- in fairness to this trial, he has not talked to anyone about what he knows. And you know, I respect him enough not to ask him, and he respects the process enough not to tell me.

GRACE: Everyone, joining us tonight, Todd Potestio. He has known the bellboy since he was in the 6th grade. Thank you very much for speaking out tonight. Everyone, stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV. Thank you for being with us tonight.

We are taking your phone calls here at LARRY KING.

Let's go to Portland, Oregon. Portland?

CALLER: Yes. Nancy, first I of all, I want to compliment you. You are a real asset to the legal system.

GRACE: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: And I would like to know if you think Kobe can get a fair trial.

GRACE: The other night, a woman called in and asked if I thought this girl inflicted the bruise on her face herself. So judging by that one phone call, I would wonder if the girl can get a fair trial, OK?

Yes, I think there will be a fair trial. I think the defense will probably ask for a change of venue and it may very well be granted.

Chris Pixley, question to you. Everybody, Chris Pixley, defense attorney from Atlanta.

We know that there is additional sperm. The real star in the courtroom today was the yellow underwear, all right? It wasn't the prosecutor. It wasn't the witness or the defense attorney. It was this girl's yellow underwear she wore before the incident at the hotel.

The state has not tested the sperm. Why?

PIXLEY: Well, I think the state's probably in the process of testing the sperm. You know, Nancy, sadly I'm going to be making the prosecutor's arguments here, but we're only at the preliminary hearing stage and they're going to still...

GRACE: We have this on tape, Chris.

PIXLEY: investigating. And I realize that. And I wish I could say something else about it.

You know, I think the defense scores points in pointing out, Look, what the prosecution hasn't done. The problem is, by the time you get to trial, to prosecution is going to have fully investigated and they won't be able to score those points.

So, you know, you get a small positive mark today for the defense on that count. But I don't think it really amounts to much.

GRACE: But John Quillian Kelly, I have got the motion right here in my hand. The defense is arguing something far more nefarious -- that the state is refusing to test -- to test the sperm because they think it will be exculpatory. In other words, it will be somebody else's.

KELLY: Let me tell you what the defense did. When this case first started, the first thing they did was sent out letters with a formal request that all physical evidence be preserved with sufficient exemplars so they could do their independent testing. If the defense feels there's exculpatory exemplars here, they'll have the opportunity to consult their own experts, have it tested and air the results.


KELLY: I'm sure the prosecution is going to do it too. It's a non-issue right now.

GRACE: So you're saying the defense can have it tested just as easily as the state.

KELLY: Absolutely.

GRACE: But will the state have it tested?

KELLY: They may or may not. But in any event, the defense will be able to get the results and not be able to cry, you know, unfair advantage because they'll have the results and be able to use it at trial.

GRACE: Well, Bill Kurtis, everyone, is with us from A&E.

Bill Kurtis, the alleged victim already told police the first time she got to the station, I had consensual sex two, three days ago. I want you no know that right up front. So what's the point of testing? We know there's going to be additional sperm.

KURTIS: Well, and a third party or a second party and someone else who may be a player in this.

Incidentally, the police have also said that they tried to find the source, but nobody would return their phone calls. Undoubtedly, that will be corrected for the trial. I'm not sure what kind of exculpatory evidence can -- they will find beyond just producing another party who might have created the injuries that are going to be a big part of this in proving forcible rape instead of consensual sex.

GRACE: Well, I think you really hit the nail on head.

Lit me go to you, Chris Pixley. The state's trump card, wouldn't you say -- and correct me if I'm wrong -- there may be other lovers. She may have had felony dirty laundry on her rap sheet. But the blood from her vaginal area is on his T-shirt. So how can the state argue -- I mean, how can the defense argue with a straight face that somebody else caused the vaginal injury?

PIXLEY: Well, you know, again, not to be indelicate, but the vaginal injuries could have occurred before she came in contact with Kobe Bryant and this could be simply reinjuring herself.

You know, the other reality is I think that the defense at some point is going to try to bring common sense back into all of this and say, Wait a second. Kobe Bryant's a smart guy. If he knew that he had done something wrong, if he had believed that he had actually raped this woman, the likelihood is, given the 24-hour time between when this contact with the accuser occurred and when he was actually interviewed by the police, wouldn't it be -- wouldn't he have gotten rid of a bloody T-shirt? Instead, if he doesn't think he did anything wrong, chances are he would still hang on to it.

Now, there may be other explanations and we may hear more a lot more about it, but I think the direct answer to your question is simply that this could be a reinjury.

GRACE: Response?

KELLY: Well, first of all, if he got rid of a T-shirt he knew had existed, he would be getting himself far more trouble than he was to begin. He obviously would have consulted with counsel and they would have told them not to destroy any evidence, first of all, because he'd make matters worse.

GRACE: But defendants make foul-ups like that -- not getting rid of evidence -- all the time.

LUDWIG: But also, he could be telling the truth and she could really feel that she's telling the truth, too. You could have a situation where two people really feel that they are telling the truth.

Maybe this is the way Kobe Bryant has one night-stands. Maybe he's a clutzy lover. Maybe, he, you know, was, he was big and she wasn't ready. I mean, there a lot of different explanations that could explain why things turned out the way they did other than he raped her.

And it's also not unheard of that someone is not raped and can feel raped and I can go into details about that. GRACE: Well, what about the fact that the rape nurse says this is not consistent -- these vaginal tears are not consistent with consensual sex? How much weight will she carry?

KELLY: She'll carry a lot.

First of all, Nancy, we've got to keep our eye on the ball with regard to the semen exemplar and the undergarments. First of all, we know they weren't the ones worn that night. So that makes all the pundits (ph) here irrelevant. We don't know whether it's one or more people that left the -- these semen exemplars there, also.

And, quite frankly, there's a lot of other evidence we still have. We have her submission under fear. We have the physical evidence. We have her injuries. We have the immediate outcry. We have Kobe's deliberate deception, denying this at first. All that's going to play into this.

GRACE: Tony Kovaleski, what do you expect as the next step?

KOVALESKI: Well, next step -- everybody here in Colorado expecting the judge to bind this over for trial, Nancy, because the threshold for him to say, No -- the threshold for this case is very low. So, we expect it to go forward. The judge will make that ruling on Monday, and then the decision is when does Kobe come back? He goes to a new judge, as you talked about earlier in the show, and then will they move quickly with this trial or will they delay it? In Colorado, you have six months. It's a fair trial. It's a quick trial. And it would be Kobe Bryant's legal team to make the decision if they want to go out outside of that. But if they don't, that trial will have to happen within six months of that initial appearance.

GRACE: Tony, today, at the end of the preliminary hearing, was there a win for the state or a win for the defense? We all expect the case to be bound over. I'm talking public relations wise.

KOVALESKI: Well, in the court of public opinion, Nancy, you would have to say it was a win for the defense because they raised some issues. They threw some questions out there. And everybody, like all of us, sitting in our living room deciding, Did Kobe do it? Did he not do it? It depends upon where you want to hang your hat. But certainly, there was some reasonable doubt raised in the courtroom today.

GRACE: Well, when we come back, everyone, we're going to find out from Tony Kovaelski what has become of the two men that threatened the life of the alleged victim in this case. One of them a Swiss national who wanted to be paid $3 million to do away with the alleged victim, according to documents.

Also, with us, when we come back, Jeremy Treatman. He is Kobe Bryant's high school basketball coach with some interesting insights on Kobe Bryant. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARK HURLBERT, EAGLE COUNTY DIST. ATTORNEY: I am confident that the judge will find probable cause and will bind this case over. And I am confident in the people's case versus Kobe Bryant.



GRACE: Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry King tonight. Thank you so much for being with us.

Let's go out to Jeremy Treatment.

Jeremy Treatment known Kobe Bryant for years. He was his high school basketball coach. Thank you for being with us. Oh, nice shot. You have not only known him for so many, many years, but you have visited him several times since he joined the Lakers.

What was he like in high school and have you seen a change?

JEREMY TREATMAN, BRYANT'S HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL COACH: Certainly, there's been a change. I do want to correct you. I was an assistant coach in high school. I just want to clarify that.


TREATMAN: The first three years in the league, we went out probably eight and 10 times and went to many playoff games and his house in Pacific Palace Heights many times. When he was 14, 15, 16, 17, very nice, young, precocious, incredible work ethic. He just loved to practice. You couldn't get him off the court. He lived for basketball. He lived for the opportunity to better himself. He didn't start out as the greatest player in his class. He was the top 50 player. Top 25 and then top 10 and snuck on the country and surprised everybody becoming the number one high school player in the country. He kind of went through this in Philadelphia until the end when people got wind and understood how good he was.

I would say the changes are, you know, you know, a little bit of the things when you're in Los Angeles and California, the number one endorser -- sports endorser in the country, you know, I guess you can keep in touch with many people back at home but that's probably the only major change but it's hard not to have -- act like things come so easily for you when you make it so easy for you. I mean, because he just got so much better and better and better and endorsements came and came. And he was able to back up everything he said he was going to do in high school. He said be an all-star by his second year, go out help the Lakers win ring. He said he was going to on the Lakers as a 17-year-old and not sit the bench. He wanted to make an impact. All these great things happened for him. And I think it would change anybody certainly a little bit.

GRACE: Change him how? You say he's changed, but how?

TREATMAN: I just think, I mean, I think he was cocky but in a good way. I admired the cockiness in high school, but he was quiet about it. I think he got maybe a little cocky when he got into the league. But I admire him so much because he was able to back it up. He's got a lot of distracters. He wasn't supported coming out of high school, making the decision going from high school to the NBA. A lot of people were very offended by it. A lot of people were very jealous about it. A lot of people wanted him to stay home, go to Villanova or LaSalle where his day was an assistant coach. A lot of people thought there was a lot of bravado to think who is this 17-year-old kid to go to the NBA?

He had a quiet cockiness about it. He really couldn't say anything because he had go out and prove it. And once he did, I think, I mean I think a lot of people deserve to be, hey, you know, Kobe Bryant was able to do it and say what he did. You know, people came down hard on him -- at least in Philadelphia. I know he was loved out in California. Hopefully he is still loved in California. It's very different in Philadelphia than California.

GRACE: Right. Now, everyone, we are showing you in case you don't recognize some of the jerseys, those are high school basketball games we're showing you footage from way back when, even then Bryant then shining on the basketball court but now another court, a entirely different matter --Robi.

LUDWIG: Yes. I'm just wondering, Jeremy, if Kobe somehow when he rejected his parents, did he then make self destructive decisions for himself?

He seemed to be better off with his parents in his life.

TREATMAN: I can't answer that because in the last couple of years, I haven't communicated with him, but I tend to believe some of that. I mean, he went out with Los Angeles, a lot of people say was he really ready to go out at 17-years-old, 18-years-old. And I would say, if he was by himself, no, absolutely not. But he went with the parents. He went with his sister. He had a great agent in (UNINTELLIGIBLE). They laid everything out perfectly for him.

All the Adidas moves worked out perfectly. All the basketball moves, it took awhile but they worked out getting onto the Los Angeles Lakers. It took awhile, but ti really worked out. And seemed like everything came to fruition. And I think the one thing that I think is regrettable that this rift between him and his parents has happened and that's very sad for someone like me who actually got to see first hand for years how close this family was.

GRACE: Right.

TREATMAN: I called his uncle not too long ago. The only member of the family I can get in touch with. And said everybody's behind Kobe. Everybody's is praying together. Everybody thinks this is going to come out OK. And, you know, it's great to know that the family is behind Kobe and hopefully all that's in the past. Whatever happened with him and his family.

GRACE: Chris Pixley. PIXLEY: One question ask of anybody that knows him and Jeremy very interested in your response to this is whether the private Kobe Bryant that none of us had the opportunity to see aside from people like you who know him personally, is he the same person that we see in public?

TREATMAN: You're asking me? It's a great question. I think for the most part, yes, he is totally quiet and reserved. He's very secretive. I know I've done -- you know, one thing we haven't mentioned, I knew him first as a reporter. And even when I was coaching the team in high school, I was still involved with the TV show. We did his first TV stories on Kobe. I did the first radio interview of Kobe. I did lots of national magazine articles with Kobe. And certain things he doesn't talk about and even today, I mean, the personal life never really talked about that much. But I think he dated very normally and had plenty of girlfriends.

GRACE: That's interesting, Jeremy. That's in direct contradiction to the "Newsweek" article saying he really didn't adapt socially.

TREATMAN: That's not true.

GRACE: You have a very different opinion. Interesting.

Bill, question?

KURTIS: I do have a question. That is, we see an adolescence coming out of high school. There are reasons you go to college, and it's more than just books. You're growing between 18 and 21. You're meeting other people, your gaining an experience to hone your judgment. And suddenly you go from high school basketball into a world where you can't -- not old enough to vote, not old enough to drink.

How in the world can we expect these young men and let's use Kobe As an example, to suddenly become men?

He was a genius on the court, but was there a missing link in there?

TREATMAN: Once again, you're directing this to me. So I'll answer it. You know, possibly a missing social link, but I mean, because he had the support group and because his single mindedness -- his goal was to come into the NBA as a young player play with Michael Jordan. At the time Magic Johnson in '94, '95 was still active and possibly was going to get a chance to play with his idol. I think basketball-wise and life-wise and business-wise, it was all the correct moves for Kobe Bryant. Went out there with is family. Up to two months ago, nobody would be discussing this. Everybody saying what a perfectly laid out plan this kid had and the family everything they did turned to gold.

GRACE: Interesting.

TREATMAN: OK, now this happened and now, you know, now everybody says, of course, maybe there was this and maybe he shouldn't have done this and maybe he shouldn't go out. You know, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James they got all...

GRACE: Jeremy, hold on one second. We have one last question for you.

KELLY: Yes. Coach, quickly, did Kobe interact socially with his teammates and classmates in high school? You can't spend 24 hours on the court and still be a normal high school kid and interacting normally too.

Was one part of the life missing in your opinion?

TREATMAN: No, not at all. That's why I agreed to go on the shows. I was upset about the reports, like the "News Week" article. He was dating girls steadily throughout the senior year. And there were other girls that came to the games that he was open about were his girlfriend. Not the girl mentioned in the story.

So much silly stuff going on. He had plenty of friends. Very well liked. He was sometimes hard on his teammates and -- but you know without that, they don't win the state championship. And all the teammates tell you how much they enjoyed playing with him. And how much they enjoyed that experience.

He listened to his coach.. You know, a hot shot 17-year-old with that attention, a young 32, 33 year-old coach and a lot of people that situation wouldn't be listening to coach. He listened to the coach. Every way -- every step of the way. And socially, to answer your question, yes, I think he was a good member of the student body. Kids liked him a lot.

GRACE: Jeremy Treatman, everyone, is Kobe Bryant's high school basketball coach -- assistant coach with more insight into Kobe Bryant. Has he changed? Stay with us. We're taking your calls.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kobe had so many things going for him as a pitchman. Not only is he very charismatic, he's a great smile, he's playing for one of the most amazing global brands in the Los Angeles Lakers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And corporations love Kobe. He sold everything from Sprite to Nike shoes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He became the NBA's golden boy with legions of adoring fans willing to buy tickets just to catch a glimpse.



GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us. Let's go straight back out to Colorado. Tony Kovaleski is standing by with KMGH TV. You know, Tony, everyone keeps discussing why Kobe Bryant's name is made public and the victim, the alleged victim, has remained anonymous. Aren't there two guys, one Patrick Grabber, the Swedish national and then the University of Illinois's student or Iowa student that both claim they wanted to kill her?

KOVALESKI: Well, the one from Iowa, Nancy, had to do with the charge here with the district attorney and the phone call and then the gentleman in Los Angeles. But, yes, there's been a lot of attention and it has become almost circus with those kinds of claims and the focus come out in the media on this case. And yes, those things happen


With what's happened.

GRACE: I think that I'm losing tony. I want to go to you quickly while we get the satellite back up. John, the alleged victim in this case, has allegedly remained anonymous, but we have seen her photo on the Internet, her telephone phone number. Pamela Mackey said her name out loud in open court six times. Now we got a guy, a Swedish national looking to kill her. He's been arrested. What's next?

KELLY: I don't know. If you read the rape shield law in Colorado and most states, it doesn't specifically say that you cannot reveal the name of the accuser. That's just an unwritten rule honored by journalists, the media prosecutors, the court, everybody else. That's what controls right now. And quite frankly, yes, everybody knows who she is from Web sites to, you know, correspondents. It is out there. No secret.

GRACE: Let's go to Windsor, California, are you with us, Windsor?

CALLER: Yes, I am. Hi, Nancy Grace.


CALLER: Why haven't we heard from Kobe Bryant's parents in all of this situation?

GRACE: Interesting. What about that, Chris Pixley?

PIXLEY: Well, I don't know that from a defense standpoint that you want to be hearing from Kobe's parents, that you want to be hearing many statements beyond the statement that was made initially after the charges were filed. I thought that it made sense to get it out of the way early on. To make the defense clear, to make a statement that he did believe that he's innocent, that he believed in his innocence and what his explanation was for the encounter.

But beyond that, I would want everyone to keep their mouths shut and just allow the system to move forward and the case to go to trial if that happens. GRACE: Very quickly Robi Ludwig, we've got 30 seconds left, where's Vanessa? Why is she a no show in the courtroom?

LUDGIG: Maybe she's really angry with him and maybe no place for her there. As you said before, Kobe Bryant is certainly getting a nice presumption of innocence. And Pamela Mackey is doing a superb job at changing the conversation about the preliminary trial.

And I think what's also of note, there are conditions, Nancy, psychiatric conditions where someone can feel they were raped even if they're not.

GRACE: I want to thank all of my guests tonight. Tony Kovaleski, Robi Ludwig, John Kelly, Chris Pixley, and of course, Bill Kurtis with A and E. Stay with us.


GRACE: Everyone, I want to thank you for being with us. Larry King will be back tomorrow night with Wynonna Judd, so please tune in for that. Again, thank you for being with me. And now to Anderson Cooper.


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