The attorney for the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape urged the judge Monday to stop posting court filings and other case details on the Web, saying it has put his client in danger.
Kobe Bryant attended numerous pre-trial hearings in Eagle County before the criminal case against him was dismissed.
The practice has prompted the 20-year-old woman at least twice to consider ending her participation in the case, attorney John Clune said. Those times, he said, were "when somebody who was sworn to protect her made mistakes."
District Judge Terry Ruckriegle did not rule on Clune's request to stop using electronic media to distribute information in the case. The arguments came during the first of three hearings scheduled before the NBA star's trial begins Aug. 27.
As the woman's parents and the NBA star looked on, Clune said the accidental posting of her name on a state court Web site drew death threats last fall and the accidental e-mail release of transcripts from a closed-door hearing could cause her "immeasurable" harm if published.
Clune also noted the Glenwood Springs hospital where the woman was examined accidentally gave attorneys for both sides too many details about her health. He said he believes all the mistakes were inadvertent, but they have caused lasting harm to his client and her family.
"If they don't trust the system, it undermines their desire to go forward," he said. "She and her family are under the perception that the court won't protect her. That fundamental lack of faith and trust is really the most damaging and lasting effect."
Prosecutors have had no indication the woman would stop participating in the case, spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said.
The defense asked the judge to reject Clune's motion. Defense attorney Hal Haddon said it appeared he was trying to influence the judge's pending decision on whether the woman's sex life can be used against her at trial.
"This may be about Mr. Clune's desire to make a ringing speech about victims' rights," Haddon said. "It's a transparent and truly outrageous attempt to influence this court on a matter that's critical to Mr. Bryant's rights."
Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault. He has said he had consensual sex with the woman at the Vail-area resort where she worked last summer. If convicted, he faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.
Ruckriegle has already decided most major issues in the case, but he has not ruled on one of the biggest issues remaining -- whether the woman's sex life is relevant and can be admitted as evidence. The defense wants to argue to the jury that injuries found on the woman could have been caused by sex with someone else in the days surrounding her encounter with Bryant.
Prosecutors and Clune say the woman's sex life is irrelevant to the question of whether she consented to sex with Bryant.
Ruckriegle could issue that ruling within the week, said state courts spokeswoman Karen Salaz. She said it was of "paramount importance," and said the judge has made it his highest priority.
Closed-door arguments were held Monday on whether cell-phone messages sent and received by the alleged victim in the hours after her encounter with Bryant, along with money she received from the state crime victims' compensation program, can be used as evidence. The defense has suggested she received an unusually large amount of money as an incentive to continue participating in the case.
The bulk of the open hearing dealt with Clune's argument that a series of mistakes has endangered his client.
In the first, a document with the woman's name was posted on the court Web site in September. Within 90 minutes, court staff had removed the document and reposted a redacted version.
Last month, the transcripts from the closed-door hearing on the woman's sex life and the compensation money were e-mailed to a handful of media organizations, including The Associated Press. Ruckriegle ordered the organizations not to publish the contents -- none has done so -- and he was backed up Monday by the Colorado Supreme Court.
Clune said his client and her family had received numerous death threats, at one time receiving several calls a minute for a stretch of five weeks shortly after Bryant was charged. Haddon said there have been death threats against potential defense witnesses, too.
A spokeswoman for the Eagle County sheriff's office did not return a call seeking further details. FBI special agent Monique Kelso said no threat investigations were under way in the agency's Denver office.
Also Monday, attorneys for media organizations argued in favor of allowing still and video cameras in the courtroom during the trial.
The defense, the prosecution and Clune all say photo coverage, especially via live TV, could influence jurors and prompt witnesses to be less than candid about intimate and potentially embarrassing information.
June 20, 2004: Craig's Court: Can Momentum Be Stopped?
- June 1, 2004: Craig's Court: Credibility Lost
- May 25, 2004: Craig's Court: Strength In Numbers, Weakness Without
- May 11, 2004: Craig's Court: A Weird Event In A Strange Case
- May 11, 2004: Craig's Court: A Weird Event In A Strange Case
- April 29, 2004: Craig's Court: Almost Winning Time
- April 6, 2004: Craig's Court: The Defense Fires Back
- March 30, 2004: Craig's Court: Names and Appearances
- March 26, 2004: Craig's Court: Misreading Or Misleading Or Retreating?
- March 17, 2004: Craig's Court: Fishing In The Right Spots
- March 12, 2004: Craig's Court: DA Calls Time Out -- What Is Going To Happen Now
- March 2, 2004: Craig's Court: Are Those White Flags?
March 1, 2004: Craig's Court: Role ReversalFebruary 4, 2004: Craig's Court: You Are Free To GoFebruary 2, 2004: Craig's Court: I Call Them As I See ThemJanuary 31, 2004: Craig's Court: Tabloid Time -- The Shapiro FactorJanuary 23, 2004: Craig's Court: OJ, JonBenet, DNA and Lotsa Delays
- January 13, 2004: Craig's Court: Relevant Evidence Or Character Assassination?
- January 9, 2004: Craig's Court: Kobe's Body Is Different Now
- December 29, 2003: Craig's Court: How Slow Can You Go?
December 15, 2003: Craig's Court: The Good, The Bad and The UglyDecember 8, 2003: Craig's Court: A Tale Of Two ShirtsNovember 21, 2003: Craig's Court: The Wacko Jacko Impact On Kobe BryantNovember 20, 2003: Craig's Court: 101 Dull MotionsNovember 19, 2003: Craig's Court: Probable Cause Equals HIV TestingNovember 18, 2003: Craig's Court: The Invitee and the Intruder
- November 13, 2003: Craig's Court: Non-Destructive Stalling In Kobe Bryant's Case
Nov. 12, 2003: Craig's Court: A Lawyer's Blog On The Bryant Case
- July 19, 2004: Supreme Court: Media Can't Publish Bryant Transcripts
- July 16, 2004: Bryant Jury Summonses Mailed, Man Who Made Threat Sentenced
- July 13, 2004: Bryant Accuser's Attorney Cautions Judge On Sexual-History Decision
- July 9, 2004: Bryant Attorneys Don't Want Cameras In Court
- July 8, 2004: Media Urges Courts To OK Publication Of Bryant Transcripts
- July 7, 2004: Source: Nuggets GM Meets With Kobe Bryant
- July 2, 2004: Judge: Releasing Transcripts Would Jeopardize Bryant Trial
- July 1, 2004: Eagle DA To Remain On Sidelines During Kobe Trial
- June 29, 2004: Colorado Supreme Court Asks Bryant Judge To Explain Himself
- June 26, 2004: Bryant To Go To Trial Aug. 27
- June 22, 2004: Bryant Hearing Ends With No Trial Date Set
- June 21, 2004: Kobe Hearing: What Is Consent?
- June 17, 2004: Under New Rule, Jurors Can Question Bryant Witnesses
- June 1, 2004: Judge: Accuser Cannot Be Called 'Victim' At Bryant Trial
- May 27, 2004: Bryant Defense To Ask Accuser's Lovers Submit To DNA Testing
- May 26, 2004: Thursday's Kobe Hearing May Set Trial Date
- May 25, 2004: Bryant Defense Claims Investigation Woeful, Incomplete
- May 18, 2004: Experts In Kobe Bryant Case To Examine Detective's Tape Recording
- May 11, 2004: Bryant Enters Not Guilty Plea
- May 10, 2004: Bryant Accuser Appears At Closed Door Hearing
- May 7, 2004: Bryant Prosecutor Targets Simpson Case Forensic Witness
- May 5, 2004: Bryant Defense Wants Accuser Called 'Complaining Witness'
- May 1, 2004: Bryant May Miss Summer Games
- April 29, 2004: Arraignment Date Set For Kobe Bryant
- April 27, 2004: Accuser's Male Friends Testify In Kobe Bryant Prelim Hearing
- April 26, 2004: Bryant's Attorneys Focus On Accuser's Sex Life
- April 21, 2004: Kobe Bryant Defense Won't Get Medical Records
- April 6, 2004: Kobe Bryant's Attorneys Also Want Speedy Trial
- April 3, 2004: Prosecutors Also Ask For Quick Bryant Trial Date
- March 25, 2004: Kobe Bryant's Accuser Wants Trial Date Set
- March 24, 2004: Kobe's Accuser Testifies For Three Hours About Sex Life
- March 23, 2004: Furniture From Lodge In Bryant Case Goes On Sale
- March 23, 2004: Bryant's Accuser Preparing To Testify
- March 15, 2004: Bryant Judge: Don't Talk To Media
- March 11, 2004: Ruling Clears The Way For Defense Questioning Of Bryant's Accuser
- March 9, 2004: Bryant Prosecutors Argue Against Turning Over Medical Records
- March 3, 2004: Bryant's Accuser Must Answer Detailed Questions About Her Sex Life
- March 2, 2004: Appearance By Bryant's Accuser Postponed
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