[b]Prosecutors drop case — ABC NEWS[/b] Motion to Dismiss Prosecution to Ask Judge to Drop Charge Against Kobe Bryant By Ellen Davis and Bill Redeker E A G L E, Colo., Sept. 1, 2004 — Prosecutors will file a motion this afternoon to dismiss the sexual assault charge against Kobe Bryant, according to sources familiar with the case. The motion will say that the request is based on an agreement between the prosecution and the alleged victim. The young woman has told prosecutors she is no longer willing to testify, sources told ABC News. Prosecutors will ask that the charge be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it can never be brought again. A news conference with prosecutor Mark Hurlbert is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Judge Terry Ruckriegle must approve the request in order to end the criminal prosecution. He will almost certainly grant this motion. Opening statements in the case were expected to begin Tuesday, with prospective jurors being interviewed this week. The Los Angeles Lakers star was accused of raping the young woman on June 30, 2003, at an Eagle resort where she worked and he was a guest. He pleaded not guilty to one felony count of sexual assault. Bryant, 26, has admitted having sex with the woman, who was 19 at the time, but claims it was consensual. If convicted of felony sexual assault, Bryant could have faced four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000. Motion Seen as Embarrassment for Prosecutors The 11th-hour withdrawal from the criminal case can only be seen as an embarrassment for the embattled prosecution, which has struggled for months against defense claims that DNA evidence indicated the alleged victim had sex with another man after her encounter with Bryant. The woman has denied that. Her attorneys complained her privacy was violated when a court clerk mistakenly posted sealed documents about the case on a Web site. The documents revealed the alleged victim’s name and defense allegations about her sexual history. The alleged victim filed a civil suit against Bryant on Aug. 10, seeking monetary damages of $75,000. Attorney L. Lin Wood told The Associated Press that the suit remained intact. :nav Source: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/US/kobe_bryant_dismiss_040901-1.html

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