Kobe Accuser Wants Speedy Trial

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AP
Accompanied by a plea from her mother, the 19-year-old woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape urged the judge Thursday to set a trial date so she can begin to put the case behind her.

The request came as Bryant's attorneys neared the end of their bid to have details of the accuser's sex life admitted as evidence at trial

Attorney John Clune, who represents the woman, said in a court filing that since the NBA star was charged with rape in July his client has "been forced to quit school, she cannot live at home, she cannot talk to her friends and she has received literally hundreds of phone calls and e-mails threatening either death or mutilation."

Clune said prosecutors had no objection to setting a trial date.

In a letter dated Wednesday included with the filing, the woman's mother told the judge that her daughter has lived in four states in the past six months and that she and her husband are constantly worried about her safety.

"No one else involved in this case has had to make the life changes and compromises that my daughter has had to make and will need to continue to make until this case is over," she wrote. "I am asking that the court do whatever possible to bring this case to trial as soon as possible."

Bryant has said he had consensual sex with the woman at the Vail-area resort where she worked. If convicted of the felony sexual assault charge, the 25-year-old Los Angeles Lakers guard faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.

Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan and Bryant's attorneys were not immediately available for comment because they were in a closed-door hearing on the woman's sexual history.

Matt Herr, a former boyfriend of the 19-year-old woman, testified behind closed doors for about an hour. Defense attorneys and prosecutors then returned to the courtroom with a sheriff's detective who was one of the first to question Bryant last summer.

The woman herself spent more than three hours testifying Wednesday, with experts saying she was probably asked pointed questions about

. It was the first time she had faced Bryant since the incident last June.

"The hard questions will make her quite sober as to what she's got to face and maybe put it in her mind what will happen at trial," said Robert Pugsley, a professor at Southwestern University School of Law.

After Wednesday's hearing, Bryant flew to Los Angeles for a nationally televised game, scoring 36 points in a lopsided victory over the Sacramento Kings. He returned to Colorado early Thursday.

His lawyers insist the woman's sexual history should be admitted because it could show her injuries were caused by another sex partner and that she had a "scheme" to have sex with Bryant and others, possibly to gain the attention of an ex-boyfriend.

Colorado's rape-shield law generally bars defense attorneys from bringing up an alleged victim's sexual history. Judges, however, can hear such testimony in private to determine whether the information is relevant and admissible as evidence.

"This is one of those rare cases where the defense does have a right to explore the victim's other sexual history," Loyola University Law Professor Laurie Levenson told CBS News, "and the reason is because there's a key question in the case, how did she get the injuries? Did she get them because Kobe forced himself on her, or did she get those injuries from someone else?"

Besides the sexual history, the private hearing was to help determine whether Bryant's statements to authorities will be admitted as evidence along with physical items including a T-shirt stained with the accuser's blood.

The defense says authorities violated court guidelines for gathering evidence, secretly taped Bryant's comments and rushed their investigation, starting virtually from the time Eagle County Sheriff's detectives Dan Loya and Doug Winters questioned Bryant at the resort one day after the alleged assault.

During a hearing last month, the defense asked the judge to bar Bryant's police statement from the trial along with the T-shirt and other physical evidence. The statement has not been released publicly.

At the time, Winters acknowledged Bryant was subjected to a hospital examination in violation of Colorado court rules.

Defense attorney Hal Haddon said the law calls for hair, fibers and similar evidence to be obtained during daylight. Bryant's hospital exam was performed before dawn on July 2, little more than 24 hours after the alleged assault.

Winters said he didn't know about the daylight rule. He also said a judge had to remind him he needed two separate court orders to gather evidence: One for hair and similar evidence and another for Bryant's clothing, including the T-shirt.

During last month's hearing, Haddon said the evidence and Bryant's statement should be off-limits because his client was being questioned without having been read his rights.

Winters admitted he had signed an investigation document indicating Bryant had been officially detained. But he said Bryant was cooperative and understood he was free to leave at any time.

He said Bryant talked with authorities for more than an hour, offered them clothing that was not mentioned in the search warrant and agreed to go to a hospital for a sexual assault examination.

After the exam, Winters said, Bryant turned to the detectives and said, "Do the best investigation that you can."

Winters said he never intended to arrest Bryant that night, but said he executed the court order to take the NBA star to the hospital because of an "incident" during the interview in Bryant's room. Winters didn't explain what he meant.