NBA star Kobe Bryant was back in the Eagle County Justice Center Thursday for his first district court appearance. The procedure lasted just 12 minutes.
Bryant was calm and showed no emotion as he looked at Judge Terry Ruckriegle, and dipped his head occasionally to confer with attorney Hal Haddon.
Bryant is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old employee at an Edwards hotel where he was a guest June 30th.
Thursday marked the first time Bryant had come face to face with the district court judge who will preside over his trial. Bryant did not enter a plea and did not speak during the hearing.
Bryant remains out of jail on a $25,000 bond. A pre-trial hearing is set for December 19th. Another hearing will be held January 23rd to address other motions.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys estimate Bryant's trial will take two to three weeks. A date for the trial has not been set.
Family members of the woman who's accused Bryant of rape were in the courtroom. Eagle County district attorney's office spokeswoman Krista Flannigan says the woman's parents were there, along with two
brothers and a cousin.
It marks the first time they have attended a court hearing and the first time they have seen Bryant in person. Flannigan says they wanted to be there to put a human face on the case.
District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle also ruled that all testing of evidence must be completed within 30 days. During the preliminary hearing last month, a sheriff's investigator testified the woman's blood was found on Bryant's T-shirt. The defense suggested the woman was promiscuous and that the blood came from previous sexual activity.
District Attorney Mark Hurlbert indicated he'll try to keep a defense expert out of the laboratory when Colorado Bureau of Investigation experts test unidentified evidence in the case.
Ruckriegle says Bryant's attorneys must be notified before any tests that could destroy evidence. Legal experts say such evidence could include blood, semen and pubic hair.
Here's a look at the issues to be discussed at the next hearing in the Kobe Bryant case on Dec. 19:
Defense lawyers have asked to see the alleged victim's medical records from several hospitals and a clinic, including one where she was taken last year during her freshman year at the University of Northern Colorado after police said she was a danger to herself. Legal experts speculate that Bryant's lawyers plan to make her mental health an issue in the case.
The defense has received records from Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs where both the victim and Bryant were tested after
the alleged sexual assault. Prosecutors say they mistakenly received records from an earlier visit by the woman. Defense lawyers also received them but it isn't known whether they returned them.
Prosecutors, attorneys for the woman and attorneys for the hospitals say such records are protected under state and federal privacy laws and the woman has not waived her confidentiality rights.
The defense wants to see notes taken by a rape crisis center worker during an interview with the alleged victim. A county judge turned down that request before Bryant's preliminary hearing but said they could seek the notes again later.
Prosecutors say the notes are confidential and can't be released
unless the woman waives her medical privacy rights.
Prosecutors want a judge to decide whether defense lawyer Hal Haddon violated a gag order in the case. They've accused Haddon of giving sealed information to a judge who allegedly passed it on to a reporter for the New York Daily News. The newspaper published a story in October quoting retired District Judge William Jones as saying that another man's semen was found in underwear worn by the alleged victim.
Haddon has denied that and asked for an investigation into leaks from the district attorney's office, including some he said were meant to minimize the observations of an employee who worked at the exclusive hotel where the alleged attack happened. The defense says the night auditor didn't think the alleged victim looked like she had been assaulted.
Here's a timeline of the sexual assault case against Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant: