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FBI unseals documents detailing man's scheme to kill Kobe Bryant's rape accuser in 2003

Posted at 3:24 PM, Sep 09, 2021

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has unsealed a 17-page document that reveals a man's alleged attempt to pay to kill the woman who accused Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant of sexual assault in 2003.

In the heavily redacted documents released last week, a Swiss bodybuilder who had a California driver's license allegedly offered Bryant to kill his accuser for $3 million.

Although the suspect's name was redacted in the report, he was later identified by several news outlets as Patrick Graber. On Sept. 18, 2003, Graber was arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office and FBI agents when he met undercover agents while trying to collect a $1 million payment.

The probe into the alleged murder-for-hire plot began after Bryant's security received a FedEx envelope, with a letter inside stating that "he could make Bryant's problem with respect to the sexual assault case go away for a fee."

The letter was brought to the attention of Bryant's lawyer, who, along with Bryant's security, turned it over to the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

According to the Associated Press, Graber was ultimately sentenced in 2004 to three years in prison after pleading no contest to grand theft in April when prosecutors dropped several charges, including solicitation to commit murder.

The Denver Post reported that in July 2003, Bryant was in the Vail, Colorado, waiting to undergo knee surgery when a woman accused him of raping her in a hotel room. Bryant was arrested, but eventually, the charges were dropped after the accuser refused to testify.

The AP reported that Bryant later issued a statement apologizing for his “behavior that night and the consequences she suffered."

According to the AP, the woman and Bryant reached a civil settlement in 2005.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Southern California in January 2020.