A few days before jury selection started in the Kobe Bryant sexual-assault trial, the NBA star’s accuser was subjected to a lengthy and tough cross-examination by a prosecutor role-playing as a defense attorney, the Denver Post reports. The “cross-examination” in late August and the subsequent re-direct examination of the accuser by prosecutor Dana Easter, sometimes left the 20-year-old in tears. It was excruciating, as it is for many alleged victims who participate in mock examinations before trial, said Krista Flannigan, a victim advocate who was present at the secret courtroom drama in Golden. “What was explained to her is that in sex-assault cases, we typically do a mock examination to prepare the victim, and we would like her to do that also,” Flannigan said.
At times, the alleged victim cried. This was particularly true when asked to recount the alleged assault by the defense attorney, who acted like he didn’t believe a word she said, Flannigan said. Although the accuser broke down at times, Flannigan said, the woman stood up well and indicated she was ready for trial. Her reaction was normal. “She did a great job,” Flannigan said. “We were very impressed. She withstood the questioning, and we felt very confident she would do well under cross-examination at the trial.” Lin Wood, one of the lawyers who represents the woman in a civil suit against Bryant and was present for the mock examination, said he viewed what happened in a darker light. He said that some have called what happened to his client a disaster. “But it was not a disaster because my client was not able to effectively testify,” Wood said. “It was a disaster because she had not been properly prepared for the mock cross-examination.”