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Kobe Bryant Case

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Initial court appearances typically take just a few minutes. Kobe Bryant's case is anything but typical.

Countless television viewers and radio listeners across the country will be able to eavesdrop next week as an Eagle County judge advises the Los Angeles Lakers star of his rights, the sexual assault charge against him and the possible penalty.

Planning for Bryant's appearance started last week with officials arranging to accommodate hundreds of reporters both inside and outside the small courtroom.

The hearing is expected to be broadcast live on cable television networks under a judge's order that Bryant's lawyers had opposed. On Thursday, Judge Fred Gannett denied Bryant's request to skip the hearing scheduled for August 6th.

Meantime, the motels are filling up fast and restaurants are doubling their food orders in Eagle. Hundreds of reporters, photographers and media support crews are expected on Wednesday to cover the NBA superstar's first court appearance. Bryant has said his 19-year-old accuser had sex with him willingly at a nearby resort in June.

Wayne Conrad says he is getting part of the action -- after charging CNN $1,700 dollars to build a plywood platform with stairs near the courthouse for camera crews and anchors.

Many businesses in the town of 3,500 people welcome the attention. The marquee at the General Store on Broadway says "As Seen on TV." And communications company CenturyTel says it installed 68 new telephone lines near the courthouse in a single day.


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