Her colleagues disagreed, blasting The Post's "arbitrary and over-broad social media policy" in their letter and arguing that Sonmez didn't break the guidelines, which ask Post journalists not to share opinions online. Bryant later settled a civil suit with his accuser for an undisclosed amount of money.
"After conducting an internal review, we have determined that, while we consider Felicia's tweets ill timed, she was not in clear and direct violation of our social media policy", wrote Washington Post managing editor Tracy Grant announced in a statement Tuesday.
Grant said the tweets were "ill-timed", adding: "We consistently urge restraint, which is particularly important when there are tragic deaths".
"Washington Post journalists endeavor to live up to the paper's mission statement, which states 'The newspaper shall tell ALL the truth so far as it can learn it, concerning the important affairs of America and the world.' My suspension, and Mr. Baron's January 26 email warning me that my tweets about a matter of public record were 'hurting this institution, ' have unfortunately sown confusion about the depth of management's commitment to this goal", Sonmez wrote.
More than 300 Washington Post employees signed a letter in support of Ms Sonmez on Tuesday, including Pulitzer Prize winners David Fahrenthold and Beth Reinhard, and White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker. Although he admitted no guilt, he acknowledged that she considered his behavior nonconsensual.
Sonmez, who deleted the original tweet at the request of editors, received an email from Baron on Sunday saying: "A real lack of judgment to tweet this".
The paper had placed Sonmez on administrative leave Sunday as it reviewed her tweets, which "displayed poor judgement and undermined the work of her colleagues", according to Grant.
Sonmez's suspension prompted reactions of disappointment within The Post's newsroom. Sonmez re-shared the statement on her personal account. He said the two had consensual sex, and prosecutors later dropped the sexual assault charge at the request of the accuser.
The Washington Post Guild welcomed the decision to reinstate the reporter, although said it was "disappointed" that the paper did not apologise to Sonmez and said the company should prioritise staff safety in the future.
The Washington Post Guild also defended Sonmez in a lengthy statement, in part stating: "Felicia received an onslaught of violent messages, including threats that contained her home address, in the wake of a tweet Sunday regarding Kobe Bryant".
Sonmez issued a tough statement in response to the lifting of her suspension: "I believe that Washington Post readers and employees, including myself, deserve to hear directly from Marty Baron on the newspaper's handling of this matter".
Shortly afterward, she tweeted that she had received "abuse and death threats" from "10,000 people, literally".
Sonmez, herself a survivor of a sexual assault, said survivors of assault and their family members praised her for highlighting the Bryant allegations.