Source Pravda.Ru

Kobe Bryant case – behind closed doors

Attorneys in the Kobe Bryant case hastily assembled behind closed doors in the courtroom Wednesday amid reports prosecutors will drop the rape charges against the NBA star.

The prosecution will drop the case as early as Thursday, according to media outlets including MSNBC, ABC and Court TV, all citing unidentified sources.

Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan declined to comment, as did attorneys for the 20-year-old accuser. Defense attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

L. Lin Wood, an attorney handling the accuser's federal civil lawsuit against Bryant, said that case was intact Wednesday.

"There has been no settlement of the civil lawsuit and there have been no discussions concerning a settlement," he said. He declined to comment when asked about the criminal case, reports Boston Herald.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Bryant, 26, has said he had consensual sex with a then-19-year-old employee of a Vail-area resort where he stayed last summer. If convicted, the Los Angeles Lakers star would face four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.

L. Lin Wood, an attorney handling the woman's federal civil lawsuit against Bryant, said that case was intact.

Meanwhile, the last round of questioning of individual jury candidates resumed Wednesday. In all, 160 prospective jurors have been questioned through Tuesday with 40 more to go. Open-court jury selection is expected to begin Thursday, with opening statements scheduled for Tuesday. The jury will include 12 panelists and two alternates, informs CBS News.

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