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Kobe Free

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After 14 months of what has become nothing short of a circus, the Kobe Bryant case has come to a sooner than expected close. The charges against Bryant were dismissed at the request of the prosecution, who realized they had no chance with the alleged victim's refusal to testify. Laker fans can breathe easy again.

In truth, LAist cannot say its surprised. Regardless of what really happened, Mark Hurlbert and his rinky-dink Eagle, Colo. DA office were no match for Kobe's multi-million dollar defense team. The prosecution made one mistake after another. Their evidence was so flimsy that the judge almost denied a trial. When it got closer to the trial date, the victim undermined her own case by filing a civil suit.

The good news is that the Lakers and Kobe Bryant can go back to focusing on basketball, and in this rather forgiving nation, the general public may very well forget about this. The bad news is that this whole incident sets a horrible precedent for victims of future sexual assaults by celebrities. Who would ever step forward after seeing what the victim in this case has gone through?

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Today was a victory for athletes, who have won almost every major court case in recent years, save Mike Tyson and Rae Carruth. But we have no idea if justice was really served.