Rape is an abomination. So is a false accusation of rape. I made those statements, and many others, when analyzing the sexual assault case against the late Kobe Bryant in Eagle, Colorado. 

My opinion was solicited because I prosecuted many high-profile rapists. It was my privilege to prove the government’s case at the Denver trials of notorious sex offenders, including the Capitol Hill Rapist, the Washington Park Rapist and Frank Rodriguez, who raped and then murdered Lorraine Martelli.

Craig Silverman

Prosecutors don’t just prosecute rapists in courtrooms. They also make critical decisions about whether sexual assault charges are pursued and maintained. Kobe Bryant should not have been prosecuted.

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required to convict. It is worse to imprison an innocent person than to let a criminal go free. The standard cannot be different when the crime alleged is rape. 

Always believing the female accuser is nonsense. Treat any complainant with respect. Investigate the facts. See where they lead. Don’t always believe or disbelieve anybody based on their gender. 

Had Kobe Bryant been convicted in Colorado, he would have been imprisoned for decades. I watched the Eagle court proceedings. The criminal case was not provable, and I said so.

Channel 7 and KOA paid me to go to Eagle to cover the case. Other news outlets set forth my controversial viewpoint as follows:

“Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for his zealous prosecution of rapists during his 16-year career, says that false rape accusations occur with ‘scary frequency.’ As a regular commentator on the Kobe Bryant rape trial for Denver’s ABC affiliate, Mr. Silverman noted that ‘any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes.'”

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

Some advocates for sex assault victims disagree with my politically incorrect judgment. On Fox News Channel, especially on The O’Reilly Factor, I was frequently pitted against Wendy Murphy, a Boston lawyer renowned for taking the side of sex assault accusers.  

Murphy and I corresponded last week. We recalled our vigorous legal debates, which sold many ads on cable TV. What ever happened to Bill O’Reilly? Oh yeah.

Murphy’s unchanged in her viewpoint. She, like me, is practicing law and writing columns. Murphy just wrote why she won’t vote for Joe Biden based on the Tara Reade accusation. 

I’m underwhelmed by Ms. Reade’s allegation. Watching Reade with Megyn Kelly, I saw more indices of deception than credibility. 

Reade’s new accusation about such an old event is undermined by her own troubled history, including inconsistent statements and actions. Her accusation seems bizarre, political, and possibly Putin-inspired.

Reade recently wrote this about Trump’s pal, the Russian strongman: 

“President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity. It is evident that he loves his country, his people and his job. . . . President Putin’s obvious reverence for women, children and animals, and his ability with sports is intoxicating to American women. . . . (L)ike most women across the world, I like President Putin … a lot, his shirt on or shirt off.”


Joe Biden’s made himself an easy target of sexual misconduct accusations. The former Veep’s way too sniffy and handsy for me, but his modus operandi’s never included boldly grabbing women’s genitalia.

Tara Reade got a law degree but never a law license. Megyn Kelly practiced law before becoming a broadcaster. I look forward to her YouTube interviews with Donald Trump’s two dozen accusers

Evaluating sex assault accusations is still my job as I pursue civil claims on behalf of credible rape victims. I’ve also defended men falsely accused.  Total truth about encounters between two people is usually unavailable to others. Lawyers assess what kind of evidence will stand up in court.

Juries are made up of citizens. We all have the capacity to evaluate sex offense claims against people and politicians. In the case of Donald Trump, he’s got roughly the same number of complainants as the very guilty rapist, Bill Cosby

Cosby recorded jokes about using Spanish Fly as a rape drug. Trump was recorded while bragging, not joking, to Billy Bush about his extreme efforts to bed Bush’s TV co-host, Nancy O’Dell, a married woman. Trump then explained how women let him grab their genitalia. In law, we call that a confession, and dynamite evidence.

Trump tactically projects his own misconduct on adversaries. Two MAGA-made men have repeatedly manufactured false sexual accusations against Trump’s political rivals. This past week, Diana Andrade spilled the beans on Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, credibly claiming they compelled her to make up a rape charge against one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts.  

Don’t wait up for 45’s tweet against his acolytes, Wohl and Burkman. Trump’s too busy tweeting praise for the rifle-toting, camo-clad, MAGA-loving Michigan Militia men who invaded Lansing’s Capitol building.  

When it comes to identifying criminal types, take it from someone in the field for the past four decades. Kobe Bryant did not deserve that label. Neither does Joe Biden. Donald Trump’s another story.

Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA who also has worked in the media for decades. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun. He practices law at the Denver law firm of Springer & Steinberg, P.C.

The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to opinion@coloradosun.com.