DENVER — Authorities looking to arrest NBA star Kobe Bryant on a sexual assault charge also wanted to charge him with false imprisonment, according to a copy of the arrest warrant unsealed Wednesday.
The handful of documents released by a judge contain few details but provide a glimpse into how authorities put together their case.
Bryant was charged with a single count of felony sexual assault alleging he raped an employee at a Colorado resort where he was a guest June 30.
The Los Angeles Lakers' guard has said the two had consensual sex. An Oct. 9 preliminary hearing will determine whether the case will go to trial.
While Bryant was only charged with sexual assault, the July 3 arrest warrant said there was "probable cause" Bryant was also guilty of false imprisonment, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
The decision to charge Bryant with only the sexual assault count was made by Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert. He has not explained why he pressed only one charge.
The prosecutor probably chose to drop that charge to avoid the risk of a conviction on false imprisonment rather than the more serious assault charge, Denver criminal defense attorney Dan Recht said.
"The jury won't know it's a class 2 misdemeanor and won't even know it's a misdemeanor. False imprisonment has a serious ring to it," Recht said.
Conviction on the sexual assault charge could bring a sentence of four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.