Text of letter released

Originally Published: August 11, 2004
Associated Press

The following text is from a letter that was published by the Vail (Colo.) Daily and obtained by media outlets that was sent to District Judge Terry Ruckriegle from the father of the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape:

My wife and I have sat in your courtroom for months now and have patiently and politely refrained from saying anything to you about what we have observed. However, your most recent behavior is so harmful to us that I can no longer remain silent.

Over the past year, I have watched you in the courtroom in disbelief. From the outset, it has been painfully obvious that you treat the defense as if they can do no wrong and the prosecution and my daughter's attorney as if you have something against them or this case.

Your inappropriate and continual jokes with Mr. [Hal] Haddon on a matter so personal and traumatic to my family are insulting. At the same time, you seem to take every opportunity to publicly criticize the prosecution and my daughter's lawyer [John Clune].

I sat quietly frustrated as we saw Kobe Bryant and his lawyers hold a national press conference to profess his alleged innocence. I have watched as leak after harmful leak has gone unpunished. I have watched the defense attorneys manipulate the public opinion of my daughter with their pleadings on your Web site while you did nothing.

One of the most recent mistakes regarding the transcript of the defendant's paid expert has been devastating to my daughter and my family. I don't know if you understand the harm your staff has caused.

I was extremely disappointed that you ruled against Mr. Clune's motion to discontinue the electronic distribution of court documents and the prosecution's motion requesting delayed posting of court documents. One of these safeguards should have been put in place. You cannot guarantee that there will not be further errors.

Recently, my daughter's attorney has tried to minimize the harmful impact of your mistakes by speaking out on television for the first time. Your latest order prohibiting anyone from speaking out to help my daughter tells me that you wish to see the harmful effects of the court's errors continue. My family and I have lost trust that we can obtain a fair trial in your court.

Someday, my daughter will be able to stop being the "alleged victim" as you say and rebuild her life. While you move on to your other cases, I only hope that you can someday realize the devastating impact your decisions in this case have had on victims and victims' rights across the nation.

Respectfully, (Redacted) Father of the victim


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press