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Accuser's sexual history may be probed

DENVER -- Kobe Bryant's defense team may have more surprises
in store when the preliminary hearing in his sexual assault case
resumes Wednesday, analysts said.

As the hearing began last week, details emerged about the rape
allegations against Bryant, with a prosecution witness describing a
friendly encounter that veered out of control.

But an angry judge halted the hearing after defense attorney
Pamela Mackey questioned the sexual history of the woman accusing
the Los Angeles Lakers guard.

She referred to the alleged victim six times by name and dropped
a bombshell that drew gasps: Could the woman's injuries be
"consistent with a person who had sex with three different men in
three days?"

When the hearing resumes, some suggest Mackey may have another
surprise -- a rare subpoena for witnesses to testify. Typically,
only the prosecution calls witnesses at a preliminary hearing.

But "the rules specifically allow the defense to put on its own
evidence," said Denver defense attorney Dan Recht.

A gag order prohibits Mackey and others involved in the case
from commenting on it.

Christopher Mueller, a University of Colorado School of Law
professor, said that if Mackey pursues her line of questioning
about the woman's sexual past, the judge might close the rest of
the hearing.

Before allowing her to go ahead, he said Eagle County Judge
Frederick Gannett will probably ask Mackey to provide him with
information to back up her suggestion of promiscuity.

"And she can't really do that in an open hearing if you're
going to try to protect the (alleged victim) against
embarrassment," Mueller said.

Gannett is not expected to decide Wednesday whether to advance
Bryant's case to state district court. He has said he plans to
issue a written decision later, something Denver defense attorney
Scott Robinson said was unusual.

"I think it really reflects an intention by Judge Gannett to be
as circumspect and thorough as he can be, recognizing that a ruling
from the bench may not appear to be as learned as a carefully
crafted opinion," Robinson said.

Bryant, who is free on $25,000 bond, will have to return to
Eagle for the hearing. He has said he and the 19-year-old Eagle
woman had consensual sex June 30 while he stayed at the mountain
resort where she worked.