- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 9, 2003

From combined dispatches

The sexual assault allegations against Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were made by a 19-year-old Colorado woman. Eagle County, Col., sheriff Joe Hoy confirmed the woman’s age yesterday and said she has left on vacation with her family.

He also said investigators have sent unspecified evidence to the state Bureau of Investigation for analysis but refused to discuss other details of the case. A bureau official would only say the work has begun.

Bryant, 24, is accused of sexual assault, and prosecutors are expected to decide by the end of the week whether to charge him. Bryant’s attorney, Pamela Mackey, says he is innocent and expects to be exonerated.

According to an arrest warrant, Bryant attacked the woman June30 at a hotel near Vail. Officials at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera in nearby Edwards have confirmed Bryant stayed there from June30 to July2.

Bryant, a five-time NBA All-Star, surrendered to authorities Friday and was released after posting $25,000 bond. Mackey said her client was in Colorado for surgery.

HEAT: Anthony Carter’s representatives mistakenly failed to exercise a player option that would have allowed him to make $4.1 million with Miami next season.

Heat spokesman Tim Donovan said Carter didn’t invoke an “opt-in” clause by July 1, which leaves him a free agent. The move also could mean Carter’s salary for next season will be about one-sixth of what he would have made with Miami.

LAKERS: Gary Payton is set to join the Los Angeles Lakers, and Karl Malone may not be far behind.

The Lakers have been negotiating with Payton over the past several days, general manager Mitch Kupchak said.

With nine-time All-Star Payton teaming up with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Lakers would be favored next season to win their fourth NBA title in five years. If two-time MVP Malone also decides to sign, Los Angeles would be even more imposing, featuring four superstars.

WEBBER: Prosecutors were banned from presenting key testimony and evidence at the perjury trial of Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber. Prosecutors cannot use notes kept by Michigan basketball booster Eddie Martin as evidence that Webber borrowed money from him while playing in high school and college, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled.

Prosecutors also were prohibited from calling other players to testify about amounts they said they received from Martin.

Edmunds said she probably would not allow wiretapped phone conversations in which Martin reportedly tells an acquaintance about how much Webber owed him.

RAPTORS: First-round draft pick Chris Bosh signed a three-year contract. Bosh, the fourth pick in last month’s draft, will make about $2.91 million a year under the terms of the NBA’s rookie pay scale. He will play for the Raptors’ summer league team in Los Angeles this week.

The 6-foot-11 forward left Georgia Tech after his freshman year. He averaged 15.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and made 46.8 percent (22-for-47) of his 3-point attempts.

He also shot 56 percent to lead the conference in field goal percentage, only the second freshman ever to do that; North Carolina’s Antawn Jamison was the first in 1996.

SAMPSON: Ralph Sampson was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $1,000 for not paying child support for his 14-year-old daughter. The former University of Virginia and NBA star pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor in federal court in Richmond in April.

Prosecutors say Sampson, who owed more than $22,000 when he was arrested, is now only $661 in arrears. Defense attorney Fred Heblich said Sampson fell behind during a period of unstable employment.

Sampson earned $539,060 in 1999 and $134,765 in 2000 from the Sacramento Kings, according to court documents. In 2001, he earned only $11,207 while working for a number of organizations, including NBA Entertainment.

In April, Sampson also pleaded guilty in Charlottesville to not paying child support for an 18-year-old daughter and was sentenced to a year of probation.

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