Kobe Lawyers Will Question Accuser

Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant waves the peace sign at screaming young fans waiting outside the Eagle County Justice Center, Tuesday March 2, 2004, in Eagle, Colo. Bryant was in court Monday and Tuesday on pretrial hearing regarding the sexual assault charges filed against him.
AP
The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape will face detailed questions about her sex life when she testifies in a closed hearing in three weeks, a judge has ruled.

Hours after an attorney for Bryant's accuser denied a claim that the woman had sex with someone else the morning after the alleged attack, State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle made his decision.

"After reconsideration, he denied the motion to limit questioning," said court Spokeswoman Karen Salaz.

The 19-year-old woman is scheduled to face her alleged attacker for the first time in court in the March 24-25 hearing.

The Los Angeles Lakers star's attorneys subpoenaed her in hopes her testimony would convince the judge that her sexual conduct in the days surrounding her encounter with Bryant can be used at trial.

Prosecutors had argued such questions were irrelevant and asked the judge to limit what Bryant's lawyers could ask.

Under Colorado's rape-shield law, the sexual activity of an alleged victim is presumed to be irrelevant; defense attorneys have to convince the judge otherwise.

Bryant, 25, is accused of sexually assaulting the woman on June 30 at the Vail-area resort where she worked. Bryant has said they had consensual sex.

He faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of the felony sexual assault charge.

Bryant walking out of court after the hearing smiling at cheering young fans, and flashed a "V" wave, reports CBS News Correspondent Lee Frank. Before being driven away, he even rolled down the window of the vehicle for a better look at the kids.

In addition to the question of the woman's testimony, this week's hearing dealt with the whether she had waived her right to keep her medical records confidential and whether investigators had illegally questioned Bryant.

Ruckriegle did not immediately rule on the confidentiality question. Arguments on the investigators' question will resume at the March 24-25 hearing, also behind closed doors.

The only part of the hearing expected to be open will be arguments on the rape-shield law, which Bryant's attorneys have challenged as unconstitutional.

Defense attorneys Hal Haddon and Pamela Mackey say the details of the woman's sex life are important in determining whether she was injured by other men and whether she suffered emotional trauma, as prosecutors claim.

They also say they want to know whether she had a "plan" to sleep with Bryant to win attention from an ex-boyfriend.

The woman's attorney, John Clune, said the claim that she had sex the morning after the attack was "patently false."

A court-issued gag order banning public comments, or leaks to the media, by lawyers and others involved in Bryant's criminal case is being reviewed to consider who might be violating the order, reports Frank. This comes after the alleged rape victim's attorney issued a news release calling "patently false" defense claims that the accuser had sex with another man within hours after being with Bryant.

The prosecutor, on the other hand, hired a spokeswoman just for this case where comments are supposed to be restricted.