In Colorado, the 19-year-old woman who has accused basketball star Kobe Bryant of rape was forced to undergo three and a half hours of questioning about her medical and sexual history by Bryant’s lawyers on Wednesday. Bryant was also in the court room marking the first time he and the woman were in the same room since their encounter last summer in a Colorado hotel. Wednesday’s pre-trial proceeding was held in order for the judge to determine how much of the woman’s private life can be presented to the jury when the case goes to trial.
Women’s advocates around the country said the move to force the woman to testify could discourage other women from reporting sexual assaults.
Advocate Jeri Elster of Los Angeles said “I’m frightened about this decision, only for the fact that families will not support victims and survivors to go report because they can now say, `Look what happened to so-and-so. It feels like a huge setback for survivors and victims to come.”
A 1992 study by the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina found that 84 percent of sexual assault victims do not go to the police.