Lawyers cite lack of legal precedent
DENVER -- There is no legal precedent that would require doctors to give medical records of the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape to the NBA star's attorneys, prosecutors say.
State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle ordered attorneys on both sides last week to file written arguments on the medical privacy issue. The prosecution filing was released Tuesday.
Bryant's defense team has argued the 19-year-old woman gave up her right to medical privacy by talking over her medical and mental health with others. They say purported suicide attempts and other details are relevant to the case and will help them prove she had a ``scheme'' to accuse Bryant in an effort to gain the attention of an ex-boyfriend.
Rejecting Bryant's attempt to present the information to the jury would violate his right to a fair trial, defense attorneys Hal Haddon and Pamela Mackey say.
If the defense has filed an argument, it was not released publicly. The attorneys did not return phone calls Tuesday.
In her filing, prosecutor Dana Easter said the judge should reject the defense subpoenas issued to several hospitals and clinics because the woman's medical records are irrelevant and the woman has not consented to their release.
Bryant, 25, faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. He has said he had consensual sex with the woman at the Vail-area hotel where she worked last June.
Also Tuesday, the court released a full list showing the general nature of documents and actions in the case, as requested by attorneys for media organizations including The Associated Press. Many documents are sealed.
Ruckriegle gave each side the opportunity to black out names and other information they wanted kept secret.
Among the previously unreleased information was a notice that during a Feb. 27 conference call among the attorneys and the judge, Mackey expressed concern for the alleged victim, saying she didn't want the woman to be brought to court more than once.
The woman is scheduled to testify later this month in a hearing to determine whether her sexual activity around the time of her encounter with Bryant can be used against her.
That hearing could be delayed because prosecutors filed an appeal Tuesday asking the state Supreme Court to review decisions by Ruckriegle that would allow the defense to ask the woman detailed questions about her sexual history.
The list also confirmed for the first time that Ruckriegle has heard a portion of an interview with Bryant that investigators recorded the night after the alleged attack. Bryant's attorneys say investigators questioned Bryant illegally and want the recording and some physical evidence thrown out, including a T-shirt stained with the woman's blood.
Closing arguments on that issue are expected during the March 24-25 hearing, which also will deal with a defense challenge to the constitutionality of the state's rape-shield law. The 30-year-old law generally prohibits defense attorneys from using the sexual history of alleged sexual assault victims against them in court.
Ruckriegle has scheduled a tentative hearing April 26-28, and, according to the register, told the sides he has cleared May 10-14 for more hearings if necessary.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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