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Kobe Defense Goes On Offense

Kobe Bryant's defense team has filed a barrage of court motions in his sexual assault case, depicting his accuser as a troubled, attention-seeking young woman and asking a judge to throw out much of the evidence against the basketball superstar.

The motions released Monday also asked the judge to disregard the state's rape shield law, which limits what defense lawyers can ask about an alleged rape victim.

"Most of these filings are pretty standard stuff," said legal analyst Andrew Cohen. "For example, it is not unusual for a defendant in a rape case to claim that the rape shield law is unconstitutional. That's what Bryant's attorneys have done here but no one, even the defense attorneys themselves, seriously think the law is going to be tossed out. I think the Bryant team is making the argument to preserve it for appeal in case their client is convicted."

The defense seeks to bar evidence including a secretly taped interview of the Los Angeles Lakers star by investigators and a T-shirt he was wearing the night he allegedly assaulted the 19-year-old concierge at an exclusive resort where he was staying. Investigators say the woman's blood was found on the bottom of the shirt.

Bryant has said he and the woman had consensual sex.

Seventeen motions were filed by the defense; it wasn't immediately clear whether the judge would consider any of the motions at a hearing scheduled for Friday, which Bryant is required to attend.

The defense asked the judge for permission to introduce as evidence reports that the woman twice attempted suicide. The reports were based on her interview with an investigator, the motion said.

In that interview, the investigator suggested to the woman she had a pattern of calling her ex-boyfriend when she "attempts or thinks about committing suicide," the defense motion said.

The defense said it had submitted evidence under seal that the woman behaved this way the night of her encounter with Bryant.

Defense lawyers said they need to demonstrate that the woman "makes herself a victim through purported suicide attempts in order to gain the attention of her ex-boyfriend without regard to the harm and worry that causes to other people."

"These motions as a whole offer another layer of detail into the Bryant defense," Cohen said. "After his attorneys tell jurors that the alleged victim falsely accused their client, they are going to have to offer a motive -- an explanation as to why anyone would do that and now we know that this explanation, at least from the defense, is going to be that she was trying to get attention, especially from her boyfriend."

Prosecutors filed a motion warning the defense that any evidence that the woman made false reports of sexual assault before the Bryant encounter would have to be heard in a closed-door hearing.

Defense lawyers also asked permission to present evidence the woman was taking a drug to treat schizophrenia. They said they submitted proof of that claim under seal.

"This case has been aggressively fought since the beginning and this latest wave of court filings seals that perception," Cohen said. "The defense is going to really go after the alleged victim in this case -- they want jurors believing that she was a troubled young woman desperately seeking attention. Prosecutors want jurors -- and for now the judge -- focusing on the events of last June 30th, when they say Bryant raped the woman in a hotel room."

Bryant's lawyers argued that evidence collected during a search of Bryant's hotel room should be thrown out because investigators did not tell him they had a warrant.

The defense said the T-shirt should not have been taken because Bryant was wearing it during the search, and the warrant authorized officers to take only items from the room, not his person.

Bryant's attorneys argued that state's rape shield law violates his due process rights by limiting personal information about the alleged victim, while evidence of other sexual acts by Bryant is automatically allowed.

The rape shield law, which is similar to laws in all 49 other states, makes defense lawyers prove why an alleged victim's sexual history is relevant evidence.

Prosecutors filed a request to measure Bryant's hand, because the alleged victim told investigators Bryant initially tried to strangle her with two hands.

Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted. No trial date has been set.

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