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Bryant’s accuser is 19, says Colorado sheriff

SHARE Bryant’s accuser is 19, says Colorado sheriff

EAGLE, Colo. — The sexual assault allegations against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were made by a 19-year-old Colorado woman.

Eagle County Sheriff Joe Hoy confirmed the woman's age Tuesday and said she has left on vacation with her family.

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.

According to an arrest warrant, Bryant attacked the woman June 30 at a hotel near Vail. Officials at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in nearby Edwards have confirmed Bryant stayed there June 30-July 2.

Bryant, a five-time NBA All-Star, surrendered to authorities Friday and was released after posting $25,000 bond. Mackey said her client was in Colorado for surgery.

The case was ordered sealed by Judge Russell Granger at the request of the sheriff. "I wanted to preserve the defendant's right to a fair trial," Granger said Tuesday.

The sheriff said the media attention given to the case was "mind-boggling."

"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."

Last month, Bryant signed an endorsement deal with Nike, but company spokeswoman Celeste Alleyne said she could not comment about Bryant's future with Nike.

"He's signed on with Nike and we are discussing the terms of his endorsement deal," Alleyne said. "We think he's a great player and that's all we can say until this situation is settled."