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Bryant's attorney angers judge

Sheriff's detective tells woman's account of what happened

Bryant sat expressionless during Thursday's proceedings.
Bryant sat expressionless during Thursday's proceedings.

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Kobe Bryant
Sex Crimes
Vail (Colorado)

EAGLE, Colorado (CNN) -- A preliminary hearing in the sexual assault case against professional basketball player Kobe Bryant came to a halt Thursday after comments by Bryant's defense attorney angered the judge.

Pamela Mackey, during her cross-examination of the Eagle County sheriff's detective who interviewed the alleged victim, asked if the accuser's injuries would be consistent with someone who had had sex with three different men in three days.

Mackey was alluding to the prosecution assertion that nurses who examined the alleged victim said her injuries were not consistent with someone who had recently had consensual sex.

The prosecution objected and Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett stopped the hearing, had the courtroom cleared, and called lawyers from both sides into his chambers. The hearing ended soon after.

Earlier, in her cross-examination of Eagle County Sheriff's Detective Doug Winters, Mackey drew a rebuke from the judge when she called the accuser by name six times. Mackey quickly said it was an accident. The alleged victim has not been officially identified.

Winters' testimony provided the first public account in the sexual assault case against Bryant.

The detective provided graphic detail about what the alleged victim said took place during the encounter in June. Winters also testified that police found blood from accuser was on Bryant's T-shirt.

Bryant sat expressionless in the courtroom. He did not talk to his attorneys.

The 25-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star is accused of sexually assaulting the 19-year-old hotel clerk on June 30 when he was a guest at a mountain lodge where she worked in Edwards, west of the Vail ski resort.

Bryant, who is married, acknowledged having had sex with the woman but insisted it was consensual and that he did not assault her.

The preliminary hearing ended around 6 p.m. (8 p.m. EDT), and Bryant was seen leaving with his lawyers. The hearing will continue Wednesday at 9 a.m. (11 a.m. EDT).

Account of 'mutual flirting'

Earlier, Winters recounted what the accuser told him after the incident. He said the woman told him she had been excited when she heard Bryant was going to check into the hotel, and that she wanted to meet him.

She said that after giving a tour to the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Bryant and two other people who checked in with him, the athlete asked her back to his room, Winters said.

The detective said she told him there was "mutual flirting" between the two.

Once there, Bryant asked her to lift up her skirt and show him a tattoo on her back, Winters said.

When she asked him for his autograph, Bryant told her to return later and he would give it to her then, the detective said.

Before she left the room, the detective testified, "She said he began kissing her mouth and neck, which she agreed to."

He said she told him that Bryant then "began to grope her, touching her breasts and buttocks area."

At that point, Winters said, the woman said she was afraid and wanted to leave the room. The detective testified that she told him, " 'Kobe Bryant grabbed me with both hands around my neck. I was afraid he was going to choke me.' "

The detective said she told him Bryant then turned her over a chair and raped her. Winters said she cried during the act, which lasted five minutes and took place fewer than 90 minutes after Bryant had checked in.

Bryant repeatedly told the woman not to tell anyone and she agreed, Winters testified.

She said Bryant asked her to clean herself up and she went into the bathroom, where she dried her tears and brushed her hair, and then she left the room, Winters said.

It was after midnight when the woman said she returned to the front desk to count the money in the cash registers, which was supposed to have been done by 11 p.m., the scheduled end of her shift.

As she was counting the money, a bellhop came by and she recounted her story, Winters said. He followed her home to ensure she was OK. The next day, the woman went to the hospital, the detective said.

On cross-examination, Mackey pressed Winters on why prosecution photographs of the woman's neck showed no bruises if Bryant allegedly held her by the neck with both hands.

The pictures showed a bruise on the alleged victim's jaw and a lacerations on her genitals. She asked Winters if the photograph showed a red mark on the woman's neck, or if it was a bruise, a scratch or a finger mark? He answered no to all the questions.

Bryant, who left the Lakers' training camp in Hawaii Wednesday, arrived for the 1 p.m. (3 p.m. EDT) hearing an hour early.

Wearing a dark suit and an orange shirt, Bryant strode into the Eagle County courthouse, eyes straight ahead, without saying anything to the reporters covering the case.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert's evidence also includes an audiotape of Bryant being interviewed by investigators the next day and a video with the woman talking about the case.

Bryant faces one count of felony sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The case could go to trial as soon as next spring.

Last week, Gannett decided that Bryant's accuser would not be required to attend Thursday's hearing.

CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman contributed to this story.

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