Defense looks good after hearing
One side got holes drilled through it. That was the prosecution.
The other side did great. That was Kobe Bryant's defense team.
That's the analysis of Denver defense attorney Larry Pozner, who attended Bryant's preliminary hearing on sexual assault charges Wednesday in Eagle.
Other legal experts who watched the proceedings agreed.
"Clearly this is not a strong prosecution case," said Denver attorney Andrew Cohen. "Clearly the defense is going to have an awful lot of material to work with if and when the case goes to trial."
Former Denver prosecutor Craig Silverman said the prosecution's case against Bryant now appears so weak that it may hurt future rape victims, who may have a harder time persuading anyone that they were raped.
"It's a major step backwards for those of us who believe strongly in the rights of sexual assault victims," Silverman said.
Consider this testimony, the legal experts said, that was elicited by defense attorney Pamela Mackey as she cross-examined prosecution witnesses:
A pubic hair, not Bryant's, also was found.
"It's a picture entirely different than the picture the prosecution painted," Pozner said.
"What the defense scored was not a single point or a point here and a point there, but completely related points in the story showing a whole different version of what happened that night, and that version was based on the complainant's own statements," he said.
"It was a devastating day for the prosecution."
Cohen pointed out that prosecutors haven't presented all of their evidence.
At the preliminary hearing stage, they don't have to present it all, only enough to persuade a judge that enough evidence exists to try Bryant.
"The question is going to be whether or not they actually have something when they finally lay their cards on the table at trial," Cohen said. "But it's hard to escape the impression this afternoon that there are a lot of problems with this case.
"And those problems are either going to have to be addressed before trial, or Kobe Bryant's going to be acquitted."
This story appeared in the Rocky Mountain News.
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