No assault charges against Kobe Bryant in San Diego church case

By By Tony Perry

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 7 2012 4:12 p.m. MST

SAN DIEGO _ No charges will be filed against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant over an alleged incident in August at a church in San Diego, the city attorney's office announced Tuesday.

A young man had alleged that Bryant assaulted him while both were attending Sunday services at St. Therese of Carmel Church in the upscale Carmel Valley neighborhood. The alleged victim said Bryant aggressively pulled on his arm because he felt the man had taken the star's picture.

Thomas Hagos, 20, later went to the hospital with a minor wrist sprain, police said.

"As prosecutors we cannot ethically file a criminal case when we lack sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," said a spokeswoman for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. "Based upon our extensive investigation and interview of independent witnesses, we've concluded that charges cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

After the incident, Bryant denied that he hurt the young man.

"Mr. Bryant is aware of the baseless allegations asserted against him," said a statement issued by attorney Mark Campbell, "and is prepared to defend against them fully."

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