Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kobe's Chance at Closure Is Dismissed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Kobe's Chance at Closure Is Dismissed

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, The Times-Union

The dismissal of the sexual assault charges against Los Angles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is a travesty in many ways, starting with the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers guard will never get the chance to be exonerated or convicted by a jury based on the evidence.

And Bryant's alleged victim, who decided she couldn't testify five days before the trial was to begin, will likely be painted by the public as a gold-digger. The truth is we don't know for certain whether she feared being exposed as a fraud or simply got cold feet at the thought of going up against a celebrity under an intense spotlight.

At least if there was some type of resolution based on testimony and a jury decision, it would allow Bryant to feel truly cleared in the court of public opinion if he were found innocent. And his victim to be portrayed in a more flattering light if he were found guilty. How many future rape victims may choose not to step forward after all the publicity in this case?

This way, regardless of what happens in a civil trial or possible settlement, there's no real closure. Just a basketball star, a chance encounter with a stranger in a hotel room, and an unresolved nightmare. . . .

This week's release of Doug Johnson means that the Jaguars will officially become the first NFL team to open a season with three black quarterbacks. And the good news is, it hasn't been a really big deal. Let's keep it that way. . . . Whatever price-gouging takes place in Jacksonville during Super Bowl week will pale in comparison to Hugh Douglas' price tag. He made $6,655,000 for one season, which translated to $1,901,428 per sack and $214,677 per tackle. . . .

The retirement of Ponte Vedra Beach's Todd Martin is a huge loss for tennis. Martin could give lessons on not only a big serve, but on how to act like a gentleman under all circumstances. …

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