AUSTIN (KXAN) — A mural paying tribute to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna has been vandalized for the second time in less than a week.
A witness said that someone wrote the word ‘rapist’ between the basketball icon’s eyes on the mural in central Austin.
KXAN also obtained a photo appearing to show a person writing on the mural.
By Sunday morning, the word had been removed, though a faint outline of the word ‘rapist’ was still visible.
Kobe and Gigi were among nine people killed when a helicopter crashed just outside Calabasas, California, last Sunday.
Since then, sports fans across the world have been mourning Bryant, with murals appearing across the US, including one behind the Sushi Hi restaurant on Guadalupe Street.
On Friday, KXAN reported that the mural was defaced between Thursday night and Friday morning, with someone painting the word ‘rapist’ next to Bryant’s face.
Felix Jaimes, one of the artists who created the mural, painted over the word Friday morning.
The mural was vandalized for the second time on Saturday at about 4:15 p.m.
In 2003, a 19-year-old hotel worker in Edwards, Colorado accused Bryant of having non-consensual sex with her. The case garnered national media attention and lasted 14 months. It was eventually dismissed because the witness refused to testify.
Bryant, then 24, admitted to having sex with the woman but denied any allegation it wasn’t consensual. Bryant and the woman reached a confidential civil settlement in 2005, but Bryant maintained his innocence.
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