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Kobe Lawyers: Let Us Tell The Jury

Arguments continue Tuesday in the pre-trial hearing on what will and will not be allowed into evidence at the Kobe Bryant rape trial.

Monday's closed-door proceedings focused on what defense lawyers see as a key issue in the case: their insistence that the jury should hear testimony relating to the sex life of Bryant's 19-year-old accuser.

Former boyfriend Johnray Strickland, who met the woman last year at the University of Northern Colorado, and Eagle County sheriff's Detective Doug Winters were among those called to testify Monday.

Defense lawyers say details of the alleged victim's sex life are important evidence because, they argue, injuries found on the woman could have been caused by sex with multiple partners before and after her encounter with Bryant. The prosecution says the woman's sexual history is irrelevant in determining whether or not she was raped.

Lawyers for both sides are also awaiting rulings on whether Bryant's original statements to police and a T-shirt stained with the accusers blood will be allowed as evidence at the trial.

Once those questions are settled, it will be time for the NBA star to formally enter a plea to the charges. CBS News Correspondent Jennifer Miller says that could happen this week.

Both accuser and accused have indicated that they want a trial date set quickly. The trial must be held within six months of a formal plea unless the defendant waives the right to a speedy trial.

State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle has heard testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in previous hearings about the woman's sexual activities around the time of the alleged attack.

Arguments have not yet been scheduled on a separate defense challenge to Colorado's rape-shield law, which generally bars the defense from introducing an alleged victim's sex life as evidence.

"If they can put on credible evidence that she had sex after Kobe Bryant and before she went to the cops, I'm not sure we're even going to have a trial," said Craig Silverman, a former prosecutor who is following the case. "That one fact alone would cause reasonable doubt for one or more of the jurors."

The woman's attorney, John Clune, has denied that she had sex with anyone in the hours after her encounter with the NBA star.

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

Bryant, who played in a playoff game Sunday in Houston and is scheduled to play again Wednesday night in Los Angeles, entered the courthouse through a back door. There were no fans on hand.

The rape-shield challenge is one of two critical defense motions Ruckriegle is hoping to finish this week. Bryant's attorneys also say certain evidence should be thrown out because it was gathered illegally.

That evidence includes Bryant's recorded statements to investigators, a T-shirt stained with the woman's blood and a rape kit performed on Bryant after the alleged assault. The defense contends that a court order for the evidence was improperly served.

Even though the testimony was behind closed doors, there was plenty of sniping between the attorneys. Both sides have been bickering for months about whether all evidence has been turned over by the prosecution.

Bryant's attorneys want access to the alleged victim's diaries, as well as disclosure of the amount of money, if any, of state victims' fund compensation money that has gone to the accuser and her family.

In a court filing, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said prosecutors have complied with all reasonable requests from the defense. Hurlbert said some of the information cannot be turned over under state law.

He said the information about any victims' compensation funds the woman may have received is confidential and therefore has not been provided to lawyers in either side of the case. Such funds, says Hulbert, are in any case paid directly to treatment providers - such as therapists - and not to the victims.

Defense attorney Hal Haddon has said the woman apparently stayed in a $35,000-per-month rehabilitation center in Wickenberg, Ariz., suggesting the money could be an incentive to continue the court battle.

Hurlbert said he did not know where the money was paid - "the prosecution does not rely on tabloid newspapers" - and noted that obtaining personal medical details without permission is a felony.

Experts said the question of whether money from the compensation fund must be disclosed to defense attorneys might be new in Colorado courts. Former prosecutor David Lugert also said he had never heard of victims' compensation money being used for drug or alcohol rehabilitation, rather than living or medical expenses.

"The defense wants to play that into another arrow in their quiver to get at her credibility," Lugert said.

Ruckriegle has already barred defense access to the woman's medical records, though experts say witnesses will likely be called to discuss her purported suicide attempts and antidepressant use.