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Thursday, September 02, 2004

BBC NEWS | Americas | Kobe Bryant rape case collapses

BBC NEWS | Americas | Kobe Bryant rape case collapses: "Kobe Bryant rape case collapses
A US judge has dismissed the case against basketball star Kobe Bryant, after prosecutors dropped sexual assault charges against him.
The surprise move comes less than a week after the start of jury selection in Mr Bryant's trial in Colorado.
Prosecutors said they could not proceed because the alleged victim refused to testify in court. Mr Bryant still faces a civil lawsuit filed by his accuser.
The 26-year-old star denies assault, saying the sex was consensual.
Mr Bryant, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, is one of the highest-paid sportsmen in the United States.
'Consensual'
'This motion is to dismiss based on the sole fact that the victim is unable to continue,' prosecutor Mark Hurlbert told the judge at the start of a hearing on Wednesday.
The US TV network ABC said the prosecution 'could not have proceeded without the alleged victim in this case'. "

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