Sex History On Agenda In Kobe Case

L.A. Lakers' star Kobe Bryant stands in court with the American and Colorado flags behind him at the Justice Center Thursday Nov. 13, 2003 in Eagle Colo.. Bryant is making his first appearance in District Court facing charges of sexual assault. (AP Photo/Hyoung Chang, Pool)
AP
Kobe Bryant's attorneys will get a chance next week to tell a judge why they should be able to use the accuser's sexual history against her at the basketball star's sexual assault trial.

State Judge Terry Ruckriegle said Tuesday that attorneys should be prepared during the two-day hearing that begins Monday to discuss whether the information is relevant to the case.

The Rocky Mountain News reports the 19-year-old woman will be subpoenaed to appear at the hearing, but that an attempt to quash the summons so that she doesn't have to testify is likely.

Cynthia Stone, spokeswoman for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said she wasn't surprised at the subpoena.

"With this defense team, it seems like a lot of the things they've been doing are trying to intimidate or break down this victim, piece by piece," she told the paper.

While not confirming or denying the subpoena, Bryant attorney Pamela Mackey defend the possibility.

"I don't know how that can be deemed harassment," said Mackey. "We're just following what the [rape shield] statute says."

The defense has argued the woman had sex with two other men in the days before her June 30 encounter with Bryant at the hotel near Vail where she worked. They say those men may have caused injuries found by a nurse who examined the woman the next day.

Under Colorado's rape-shield law, Bryant's attorneys would be able to present evidence about the alleged victim's sexual past only if the judge determines it is relevant.

Bryant, 25, 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 the woman consented to have sex with him.

The judge said he has reviewed information submitted by Bryant's attorneys and believes it is enough to justify a hearing. To determine whether the information is relevant, he said, he will need to hear specific evidence about the woman's sexual activity.

For that reason, he said, the hearing will largely be held behind closed doors.

Representatives of the media submitted a brief Tuesday arguing the hearing should be open.

Meanwhile, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert announced that he will run for re-election, even as he prosecutes Bryant.

It would be his first four-year term. The 35-year-old Republican was appointed in 2002 to replace Democrat Mike Goodbee, who left for the state attorney general's office.

"I decided to run because, although I have accomplished a lot in the short time I have been district attorney, I still feel there's more I can accomplish and benefit the people of Eagle County," Hurlbert said Monday.