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THE woman who accused US basketball star Kobe Bryant of rape, told police he grabbed her by the neck and forced her to have sex despite her protests, a detective testified yesterday.
Eagle County Detective Doug Winters also told the court the woman said the Los Angeles Lakers star solicited a promise she wouldn't tell anyone.
Detective Winters, in the first public account of the sexual assault case against Bryant, said what began as a flirtatious encounter and kissing in Bryant's hotel room, became an attack when he put a choke hold on her neck with his arms, bent her over a chair and sexually assaulted her.
After the alleged rape, Detective Winter said Bryant told the 19-year-old: "You're not going to tell anyone, right?"
Bryant, 25, one of the most marketable sports stars-in the US with $16.6 million worth, of annual endorsements, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of raping the hotel concierge and college student on June 30.
The hearing will determine if he must stand trial next year.
Bryant arrived at court accompanied by his own security, with court security extremely light as dozens of police patrolled the grounds - a reaction to death threats made against the prosecution, the defence, Bryant and his accuser.
Later, County Judge Frederick Gannett angrily halted the hearing, intended to determine whether there was probable cause a crime was committed.
He made the move after Pamela Mackey, Bryant's lead defence attorney, mentioned the woman's previous sexual encounters with other men in the context of her injuries.
Ms Mackey was cross-examining Detective Winters about the extent of the woman's injuries when she asked him whether the injuries were consistent with a woman who had "sex with three different men in three days".
Judge Gannett immediately ordered both sides into a private meeting and emerged later saying the hearing, which lasted more than six hours, would be postponed until next week.
Bryant, who is married, has admitted having sex with the woman but claims it was consensual.
Judge Gannett denied defence motions to close the hearing but agreed not to release a statement made by Bryant during the police investigation.
His accuser did not testify. Bryant sat expressionless and didn't talk to his attorneys.
Detective Winters' testimony included comments by a nurse, who examined the woman after the alleged attack, concluding cuts and a small bruise on the woman's left jaw were not consistent with consensual sex.
During her cross examination of Detective Winters, Ms Mackey referred at least six times to Bryant's accuser by either her first or last name.
The woman's name has not been released because of laws protecting her identity.

Adelaide Advertiser (11-10-2003)
Don Walker

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