Defense: Accuser Received $17K From Victims' Compensation Fund
Ruckriegle Releases Redacted Transcripts
4:02 AM, Jul 29, 2004
Kobe Bryant's defense team says the woman accusing him of rape has received more than $17,000 from a victims' compensation fund in what it calls a rich incentive to pursue a false claim against the NBA star, according to a court transcript released Thursday.
The 20-year-old woman would be ineligible for at least $17,000 she has already received if she lied about the alleged rape, defense attorney Pamela Mackey argued in a June 21 hearing. She said the woman would have to reimburse the fund if lies were discovered -- and that's even more incentive for the accuser to go forward with the case.Mackey said the compensation records should be admitted as evidence because they show the alleged victim had a financial interest in continuing her participation in the case. "Miss (redacted) has profited to an enormous amount, $20,000, I would suspect to most people in this county is a lot of money, most of our jurors, and she has done that on the basis of a false allegation and has persisted in that false allegation," she said. It was unclear whether the compensation information will be allowed as evidence. District Judge Terry Ruckriegle released the partial transcript along with a sealed ruling on use of the material. Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan declined to comment on Mackey's arguments, but said the alleged victim remains determined to go forward with the case. "Her resolve has not changed," she said. An attorney for the woman, John Clune, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.Throughout the case, the defense has made various suggestions on why they believe the woman is pursuing a case against Bryant. They have sought to introduce her medical and mental health history and have accused her of a "scheme" to sleep with Bryant, perhaps as a way to win attention from an ex-boyfriend. The defense has previously mentioned the compensation fund, but details of their arguments were not known until Thursday. Among other things, Mackey said the woman has received more than $17,000 for mental health care -- far above the state cap of $1,125. She also said the accuser has received $2,300 for lost wages.District Judge Terry Ruckriegle released a partial, redacted transcript of the closed-door hearing after being pressured by the Colorado Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.A court reporter accidentally e-mailed the transcripts to seven news organizations and when the mistake was discovered, Ruckriegle threatened contempt of court for any news organization that releases details from the e-mailed transcripts. The media groups complained that it was as an unconstitutional restraint of a free press and appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court, which denied media organizations their request to publish the material.