Rape charge against basketball superstar is dismissed

A rape charge against US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant has been dismissed by a Colorado judge after his alleged victim refused to give evidence.

A rape charge against US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant has been dismissed by a Colorado judge after his alleged victim refused to give evidence.

The LA Lakers player was accused of raping a hotel worker as she entered his hotel room last June at a Vail-area resort in Colorado.

Judge Terry Ruckriegle threw out the charges "with prejudice", meaning the case can never be tried again, after the 20-year-old accuser refused to testify under oath at the trial.

If convicted, Bryant would have faced between four years and a life term in prison. A civil suit that the woman filed against Bryant is still outstanding.

Bryant pleaded innocent to the rape charge earlier this year, claiming he had consensual sex with the woman.

Neither Bryant nor his accuser were in court but the star said in a statement: "Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognise now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way that I did."

The married father-of-one has spent his entire eight-year career with the Lakers and recently signed a seven-year deal worth £75million.

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