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Archive for Thursday, March 11, 2004

Prosecutors appeal ruling in Bryant case

March 11, 2004

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— Prosecutors have taken the Kobe Bryant case to the Colorado Supreme Court, saying the judge should not have granted a hearing on the sexual history of the woman accusing the NBA star of rape.

At the very least, defense attorneys should be limited in what they can ask the 19-year-old alleged victim, prosecutors said in an appeal filed late Tuesday.

District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said if the hearing was allowed to continue as scheduled March 24-25, the woman would suffer irreparable harm by being forced to testify about private matters protected under the state's rape-shield law. The law generally bars using the sexual history of alleged victims in court.

The high court could issue a decision as early as Thursday, prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said.

Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. The Los Angeles Lakers star has said he and the woman had consensual sex in June at the Vail-area hotel where she worked.

The woman is scheduled to testify behind closed doors about her sexual activities from the summer of 2002 to August 2003, Hurlbert said.

Defense attorneys say the information is important because it would show a "plan" to have sex with Bryant and would affect the credibility of the woman and other witnesses.

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