On Monday, the attorney for the woman accusing NBA star Kobe Bryant of rape urged a judge to stop posting court documents on the Internet, saying she and her family are concerned about her safety. Monday’s hearing in Eagle County is one of the final proceedings before Bryant’s trial begins in about six weeks.
In open court, attorney John Clune revealed that his client has, in the past, considered dropping the case against Bryant because of these concerns. Clune says mistakes by court staff have put the woman in danger. He cited the inadvertent posting of her name in an online document, and the accidental e-mail of a transcript from a closed-door hearing to a handful of news organizations.
The judge originally ordered the seven media outlets to destroy the transcripts, but the issue went to the Colorado Supreme Court. On Monday, the high court ruled the transcripts must remain sealed, but not destroyed. What's unclear is whether the judge will halt the online distribution of court rulings and motions.
Clune says the mistakes have destroyed the woman's faith in the justice system, and her parents' faith as well.
In the afternoon, the question was whether to ban or not to ban cameras in the courtroom during the trial. District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said that to allow cameras would make the case a “reality show” and “turn this from the ‘People vs. Kobe Bryant’ into ‘Survivor in Eagle County.’”
The judge also must decide whether the woman’s prior sexual history can be allowed into evidence. Byant's lawyers have fought for the information, as it could help convince a jury the woman schemed to have sex with the NBA star, and that the affair was consensual.
Monday's hearing comes after a setback for the defense. The judge recently ruled Bryant's statements to police and some clothing are allowed at trial. But the rape kit, which includes DNA, is not allowed.
And still to be decided ... What to do with those telephone text messages sent from the victim to her friends. The court is also expected to discuss how the woman has been compensated for going through with this case.
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