Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Some Civility, Please?

Guess who's filing a civil suit against Kobe Bryant? No, not Shaq? And no, not the City of Los Angeles, though in many respects they could prove harm inflicted in a court of law on account of how poorly the Lakers played in the Finals. But seriously, guess who? Yes, Jane Doe, the woman accusing Bryant of sexual assault is now simultaneously pursing a civil suit against him.

Keep in mind that this should not, in any measure, detract from the merit of her claim that she's not in it for financial gain. The woman contends that she has suffered "public scorn, hatred and ridicule" from the ongoing court proceedings. Although to be fair, a number of accidental-- in the loosest sense of the word-- leaks have shamelessly revealed salacious pieces of information that the Judge promised to keep confidential. Because the burden of proof is higher in a criminal case, the prosecution likely advised the accuser that a civil case—with a lower threshold of proof—would be in her best (monetary) interest.

Therefore, because the standard of proof is far lower in a civil case, this veiled threat by the prosecution portends the type of evidence they'll be citing: “The attorneys also accused Bryant of ``attempting to commit similar acts of violent sexual assault on females he has just met,'' but they did not elaborate. So expect everything and the kitchen sinks to be thrown in as evidence displaying Bryant's pattern of aggressive sexual behavior.

Conventional wisdom says Kobe settles out of court, for fear of having a queue of women willing to testify, for the prosecution, on his pattern of aggressive sexual behavior-- immaterial to the case though they may be.

Needless to say, Kobe Bryant’s name will be, for now and evermore, synonymous with rape, whether or not anything actually happened that night. If you don't believe this, I only have one question for you: Does anyone really name their child Orenthal James anymore?

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