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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Yahoo News! Judge allows Kobe Bryant's accuser's sexual history into evidence

Judge allows Kobe Bryant's accuser's sexual history into evidence
Fri Jul 23, 7:43 PM ET
DENVER, United States (AFP) - The judge in Kobe Bryant's rape case dealt a major blow to the prosecution by ruling that key details of his accuser's sexual history will be allowed into evidence at trial.

AP - Judge Terry Ruckriegle, sitting in Eagle in the western state of Colorado, ruled that the alleged victim's sexual activity around the time of the alleged June 30, 2003 sexual assault would be admissible at trial.
He said all evidence of "the alleged victim's sexual conduct within approximately 72 hours preceding her physical examination ... is relevant ... to the determination of cause of injuries observed by the nurse" and the source of "the DNA and other bodily fluids found," he wrote.
The ruling represents a bombshell for prosecutors who have claimed that the injuries to the then-19-year-old woman's genitals were caused by National Basketball Association star Bryant raping her in his hotel room.
Bryant claims, however, the sex was consensual and that the injuries could have been caused by multiple sex partners within a short period of time around the woman's tryst with Bryant.
Prosecutors had wanted details of the woman's sexual history kept out of reach of the jury that will hear the trial, which is due to start on August 27. Bryant's lawyers have fought tooth and nail to expose the woman's intimate behaviour at trial.
Experts said the decision could deal a devastating blow to the prosecution case, which has been under the magnifying glass for more than a year.
"This is a huge victory for the defense," said former Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman, who has been following the case.
He predicted it's possible that the decision could lead to Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert making a decision not to take the high-profile case to trial.
"They have established exceptions to Colorado's 'rape shield' law," said Silverman. "If they can present credible evidence that this young lady had sex after Kobe Bryant, but before she went to the cops, then it is hard to see how the prosecution can possibly prevail."
Bryant, 25, has pleaded innocent to the charge of sexual assault, which could see him jailed for life.

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