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Man pleads guilty to threatening Bryant's accuser

Maximum penalty: Five years in prison, $250,000 fine

John William Roche walks into the federal courthouse in Denver for a hearing on charges of making threats across state lines.
John William Roche walks into the federal courthouse in Denver for a hearing on charges of making threats across state lines.

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(CNN) -- A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to threatening the life of the woman who has accused NBA star Kobe Bryant of raping her, federal authorities said.

The U.S. attorney for Colorado and the FBI, in a written statement, said John William Roche, 22, of Iowa pleaded guilty to making a threatening telephone call across state lines.

The plea was entered before U.S. District Judge Walker D. Miller, who is to sentence Roche on June 4. Roche remains free on bond pending sentencing.

A federal grand jury in Denver had indicted Roche in August.

Prosecutors said Roche called from Iowa to Eagle County, Colorado, on or about July 27 and threatened to kill the woman who is accusing Bryant.

Three people spoke in the message, which was left on the family's answering machine. The first two speakers "directed profane comments towards the alleged victim," the statement said.

The third speaker left the death threat, the statement said. The message was first heard by the young woman's father, who contacted authorities.

The Eagle County family's telephone had been equipped with a device that traced incoming calls. It traced the threatening call to a man in Iowa, who told the FBI that Roche made the threat.

The maximum penalty for making a threat across state lines is five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.


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