When Kobe Bryant hit the game-winning jumper in the Lakers'
101-99 home win over the Nuggets last Friday night, it did not
change the fact that he missed the first quarter because of his
required appearance in a Colorado courtroom. There, judge Terry
Ruckriegle put off ruling on severeal motions, including whether
the medical history of the woman accusing him of rape is
In the highly unlikely scenario that the evidence is admitted, it
could have an impact on Bryant's case, but his fate ultimately
hinges on whether the jury believes the sexual encounter between
Bryant and his 19-year-old accuser was consensual. Proving
consent is notoriously difficult--a fact not lost on Ava Cadell,
an L.A. area sex therapist, and Nelson Banes, the owner of the
Colorado company Protect Condoms Inc. Prompted by the Bryant
case, both, acting independently, hired lawyers to draw up and
copyright standardized "pre-sex agreement forms" and are
marketing them to athletes.
By signing Banes's form--which sells for $7.99 and comes with two
condoms--the potential sex partner stipulates that she is at
least 18 and not under the influence of mind-altering drugs. She
agrees to "engage in any and all sexual acts legally permissible"
and that "she will not bring criminal charges" against the man.
"Athletes are going to carry consent forms just like they carry
condoms," says Cadell, whose form uses similar language. "It's
another layer of protection." Several players contacted by SI say
they would use the contract. "You have to," says Hawks forward
Stephen Jackson. "People look at us as targets and try to get
what they can out of us."
But because any such documents have yet to be tested in court,
and because a woman can withdraw her consent at any time, lawyers
question the forms' relevance. "It would not survive 10 minutes
in court," says Greg Garrison, the prosecutor who got Mike Tyson
convicted of rape. "It is a contract that is written by one side,
a jock, to the disadvantage of the other side, the woman."
Still, some think it could greatly aid the defense. Says Larry
Pozner, former president of the National Association of Criminal
Defense Lawyers, "If Kobe had one of these signed forms,
prosecuting him would be difficult. The only thing better would
be a videotape. But if you think getting a pre-nup signed is
difficult, try getting one of these signed."
COLOR PHOTO: MARC PISCOTTLY/AP GOT A PEN? The Bryant case has spawned a sex contract.
2) Consentor agrees that she will not bring criminal charges
or institute a civil lawsuit against Consentee for rape, sexual
assault, battery, or any similar offense....