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Bennett has interviewed Bryant's accuser

DENVER -- Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against NBA
star Kobe Bryant are being helped by a respected investigator who
recently was hired to help solve the JonBenet Ramsey slaying.

Tom Bennett, who retired from the Arvada Police Department in
2001 after 30 years, has interviewed the alleged victim in the
Bryant case at least once, according to a recent court filing.

"His involvement was for a very limited purpose, not as an
ongoing part of the case," prosecution spokeswoman Krista
Flannigan said Tuesday.

She would not elaborate on Bennett's involvement.

In the Dec. 12 filing, deputy prosecutor Ingrid Bakke said
Bryant's 19-year-old accuser told Bennett the basketball star
tightened his grip on her neck at one point during their encounter
June 30 at the mountain resort where she worked.

Prosecutors asked the judge to order Bryant to allow prosecutors
to measure his hands. State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle has not
ruled on the request.

Bennett declined to comment on his work on the case, first
reported in Tuesday's Rocky Mountain News.

Bryant, 25, faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to
life on probation if convicted. No trial date has been set. Bryant
has said he had consensual sex with the woman.

The prosecution has also consulted with Henry Lee, the forensic
scientist best known for his work on the O.J. Simpson and JonBenet
Ramsey cases.

Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan hired Bennett in June to
work on finding the killer of 6-year-old JonBenet, who was found
strangled and beaten in her family's Boulder home on Dec. 26, 1996.

Bennett investigated nearly 2,000 cases in Arvada, including
about 25 homicides.