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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Kobe Bryant Pleads Not Guilty

Aired May 11, 2004 - 16:31   ET

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


TUCKER CARLSON, CNN ANCHOR: We are going to Eagle, Colorado, where baseball player Kobe Bryant is pleading, expected to plead not guilty in the case where he is accused of raping a woman.
Here he is.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will advise him of the information.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it alleges, Mr. Bryant, that based upon Mark D. Hurlbert, district attorney for the 5th Judicial District of the state of Colorado, in the name and by the authority of the people of the state of Colorado, informs the court that on or about 30th day of June, 2003, in the county of Eagle in the state of Colorado, Kobe Bean Bryant unlawfully, feloniously and knowingly inflicted sexual penetration on K.F., causing submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence, reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim's will; further, that the defendant caused submission of the victim through the actual application of physical force or physical violence, in violation of this statute cited against the peace and dignity of the people of the state of Colorado.

That is commonly referred to sexual assault, overcome victim's will. It carries a possible penalty of four years, up to life in the department of corrections or 20 years up to life if probation is imposed pursuant to 181.3.104. It also carries a possible fine of $3,000 to $750,000, fine, jail or both.

Do you understand that charge?

KOBE BRYANT, DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you plead, not guilty or guilty.

BRYANT: Not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A plea of not guilty will be entered. The court has discussed with counsel the manner of setting this case for trial. Based upon the status of pending motions and ultimate retesting with regard to DNA, the court has deemed that it would be premature to set the matter for trial at this point in time until we have more information on the timeframe that that is going to take. Is that procedure agreeable to the people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is with the people, Your Honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And to Mr. Bryant's attorneys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's agreeable, Your Honor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, thank you.

As I indicated, the plea of not guilty will enter. We will proceed according to the schedule that we have for addressing further motions and anticipate that by the next time we should have sufficient amount of information as to timeframes for testing and resolution of additional motions that we would be able to establish the trial date. Is there anything further at this time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing for the people, Your Honor.

CARLSON: OK, in Eagle, Colorado, baseball player Kobe Bryant has just pleaded not guilty. We're going to go to CNN's Gary Tuchman, who has been following this case closely -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tucker, it's been almost 10 months since Kobe Bryant was arrested.

And, finally, he's issued a plea in this case. He has pleaded not guilty, as you just heard. In the state of Colorado, that basically sets a clock. That means he has to have a trial within six months. You heard the judge say he's not ready to set a trial date because they're waiting for some testing to come back. However, we have learned that last week the judge and the attorneys held a teleconference call asking everyone what would be a good time to start this trial logistically.

Everyone agreed August would be a good time to start it. That doesn't necessarily mean now it will start in August because they're still waiting for the testing. But all sides want it to start in August. So we do anticipate on May 27 when they come for another hearing here in Eagle, Colorado, that they will likely announce a trial starting in August.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, although most people think it would be longer. But Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Laker guard, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault. He faces the possibility of four years to life in prison if found guilty of this charge.

And six hours from now, Tucker, Kobe Bryant will be on court in Los Angeles in a playoff game, a very important game, against the San Antonio Spurs. We can tell you, this is the fourth time he has had to fly at the last minute for a game. And each time, he's had a stellar performance -- Tucker.

CARLSON: OK, thanks, Gary -- CNN's Gary Tuchman in Colorado. Don't get blown away.

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