Thu, Jul 10, 2003 - Page 20 News List

Colorado woman prepares for hectic homecoming after Bryant allegations

AP , EAGLE, COLORADO

The 19-year-old Colorado woman who accused Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant of sexual assault will come home from a family vacation to what Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy described as "mind-boggling" media attention.

Hoy confirmed the woman's age on Tuesday and said she was on vacation with her family, but is expected to return this week.

Hoy said he was concerned about the pressure on the woman and frustrated that there was more attention on Bryant than on her.

"To me, the sad part is if this hadn't been who it involved, this wouldn't even be a blip on anyone's radar screen," he said. "Personally, I think they're focusing on our suspect rather than on the victim."

He also said investigators have sent unspecified evidence to the state Bureau of Investigation for analysis, but refused to discuss other details of the case. A bureau official would only say the work has begun.

The 24-year-old Bryant is accused of sexual assault, and prosecutors are expected to decide by the end of the week whether to charge him.

Bryant's attorney, Pamela Mackey, says he is innocent and expects to be exonerated.

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