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By Jake Easton R A D O K N E W S

The news media has held back the name of 19-year-old Katelyn Kristine Faber, for months. After NBA star Kobe Bryant was formally charged with Class 3 felony sexual assault, it was assumed that there would be a presumption of innocence for Bryant, and an expectation of anonymity for the alleged victim.

Now, the feminist talking heads are coming out in droves saying that, unlike other alleged criminal offenses, anybody accused of rape cannot possibly be 'innocent until proven guilty,' since such a declaration would imply that the 'victim' is lying.

Tom Leykis, host of a syndicated radio talk-show has been publicly stating her name on the air for days. "We're told that rape is violence, not sex, and if that's true there's no reason she should feel shame or embarrassment," Leykis said, adding that he felt that it was unfair to name Bryant but not his accuser. More recently, The Globe has identified the accuser.

Despite Leykis' take on the matter, rape is a serious and traumatic crime that makes the victim feel ashamed and withdrawn. For those with the courage to come forward, anonymity is often sought as a means for the victim to privately start the heeling process with close friends and family.

In this case, more than a dozen of the American Idol reject's 'friends' have come forward to discuss the matter and their alleged conversations with the accuser. In just the past week alone, Lindsey McKinney, 18, Ashley Scriver, 19, Sara Lombardi, 17, Rachel Yandle, Janelle Medina, 19, Casey Strickler, Sharon Smith, 17, Tyson Ivie, 18, Brigitte Lowry, Sara Dabner, 17, Josh Putnam, Stephanie Morris, 17, Steve Evancho, and Luke Bray, have all had their fifteen minutes of fame to discuss the various aspects of the case - and many have corroborated facts that are not necessarily complimentary to the accuser.

According to a July 22nd NBC report, the alleged 'rape victim' was at a party last week - three days before Kobe Bryant was formerly charged - "bragging" about the incident, and even gave a graphic description of Bryant's anatomy to the astonishment of five witnesses. University of Northern Colorado campus police were called when she overdosed on February 25th, and was taken to the hospital. UNC Police Chief Terry Urista said "An officer determined she was a danger to herself," he said. "It's classified as a mental health issue." The Orange County Register also reported that she had overdosed on drugs - again - a few weeks before the alleged sexual assault. This has also been corroborated by several of her friends.

While one friend said she thought "it was just a cry for help," others explained the accuser's bizarre behavior on being distraught over a tumultuous breakup with a boyfriend and the death of her best friend in an automobile accident. Regardless, it does nothing to add to the woman's credibility - nor does her recent conduct provide her any exceptional rights to anonymity.


David Silber, a George Washington University psychologist, says many false accusations of rape occur "when there's loneliness, a need for attention, or a need to feel important." Studies also show that the problem of false reporting is more pervasive than many might think. The Institute for Psychological Therapies cites a Purdue University study that concluded that "false rape allegations constitute 41 percent of the total forcible rape cases reported."

Seeming to enjoy the limelight, the young Eagle County District Attorney, Mark Hurlbert, was 'unavoidable for comment' in the days following his charges against Bryant. Hurlbert had recently dropped several other credible sexual assault cases. Since the latest round of news on Bryant's accuser surfaced, he has been uncharacteristically mute, other than to assert that the 'victim' is "strong," and won't buckle under media and defense pressure. It would appear she buckled long ago, and its just a matter of time before further embarrassment is brought to the people of Eagle County, Colorado.

Uphill battle for Bryant. Despite the fact that the accuser's past events may make a stronger case for the defense, the 2000 U.S. Census shows there are only 11 African Americans among the 3,032 residents living in the town of Eagle, Colorado and only 142 living in the entire county. In such a small community - with little diversity - many question whether Bryant can get a fair trial in such an environment. Unlike other celebrity cases where wealth can sweep many problems under the rug, the stakes for Bryant are high well beyond his career, fighting against a potential sentence of four years to life in prison.

Regardless of the outcome at trial, Bryant has already lost in the court of public opinion. Kobe Bryant has fallen off his pedestal by admitting to adultery - despite statistics that clearly show that more than half of all married men commit adultery. Alfred Kinsey and Glass & Wright found that adultery occurs in 50 to 80 percent of all marriages, which translates to the fact that most of the media pundits knocking him have probably had an affair or two themselves.

Second thoughts by the accuser. In a recent article in Rocky Mountain News, the alleged 'victim' is now apparently having second thoughts about the whole thing. According to Brigitte Lowry, a young woman who characterized herself as a 'best friend' of the 19-year-old Eagle woman, "She just didn't think that it was going to get this big."

While the accuser may now be having second thoughts, the life and reputation of a man presumed innocent until proven guilty, is hung out to dry.

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