Kobe Bryant charged under tough Colo. rape law

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The sex crimes law under which basketball star Kobe Bryant is charged could get him a life sentence, a Washington Post story says.

In a Denver date-rape case in 2000, the defendant was given a sentence of 16 years to life despite a clean record before that charge. Any convicted rapist is listed permanently on a public register of sexual offenders.

Even defendants who avoid a jail term face a harsh probation regime in this state, following the passage in 1998 of Colorado’s Sexual Offenders Lifetime Supervision Act.

To be considered for probation, a convicted offender must admit to having committed rape — a condition Bryant might not want to meet even if convicted. During probation the offender must attend mandatory treatment programs and report regularly for testing by polygraph and plethysmograph, a physical exam that measures recent sexual activity.

Because Bryant has admitted to having sex with the woman, the case is expected to turn largely on his word against hers.

But the pattern in recent “acquaintance-rape” cases in this state has been for juries to side with the alleged victim, notes University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos.

“If you review the Colorado cases, you can see that the pendulum has swung toward the victim,” Campos says. “You get convictions in some date-rape situations strictly on the women’s testimony, with no corroborative evidence of a struggle or a contemporaneous complaint.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A48194-2003Jul25.html

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