Haddon: Fair trial could be impacted

Updated: July 9, 2004, 11:40 PM ET
Associated Press

EAGLE, Colo. -- A lawyer for Kobe Bryant asked a judge to ban cameras from the courtroom during his sexual assault trial, claiming they would be distracting and could influence jurors' decisions.

In a court filing made public Friday, defense lawyer Hal Haddon said photo and video coverage would threaten the NBA star's right to a fair trial and detract from the dignity of the proceeding.

"It is difficult enough to testify about the details of a private sexual act in the confines of a solemn and dignified courtroom," Haddon said. "All pretense of privacy and dignity is abandoned by allowing verbatim, televised coverage of such testimony for transmission to the world."

Media organizations asked to have cameras in the courtroom for Bryant's trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 27.

A lawyer for the 20-year-old accuser has objected to their request, as well as prosecutors.

Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault, saying he had consensual sex with the woman in his hotel room in June 2003.

If convicted, the Los Angeles Lakers guard faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.

Records released Thursday showed that District Judge Terry Ruckriegle denied a defense request to compel two men to provide DNA samples to compare with evidence collected from the alleged victim.

The records also showed that Bryant's lawyers have subpoenaed 16 witnesses from outside Colorado, but did not name them.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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