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Archive for Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bryant accuser’s mother speaks out for first time

April 20, 2004

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— The mother of Kobe Bryant's accuser spoke publicly for the first time Monday, saying she was proud of her daughter amid the storm surrounding the high-profile sexual assault case against the NBA standout.

"I would like to thank my daughter for teaching me about courage," the woman told about 100 people at a victims' advocates rally. "I'm proud to be her mom."

The accuser's father also was at the rally but didn't speak. They were invited to the annual event by the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.

The 19-year-old accuser did not attend. Her parents were not identified during introductions and committed to attend at the last minute, organizers said.

The accuser's mother spoke in support of pending legislation intended to protect alleged assault victims. The measure, which would allow judges to keep the names of alleged rape victims secret, was introduced in part because a woman was misidentified as the accuser in the Bryant case.

"Victims' rights are about changing and rewriting laws to give victims equal protection under the law," she told the crowd. "Victims' rights are about standing up for the truth. Victims' rights are about becoming a survivor."

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