<
>

Defense wants medical, educational records

1/31/2005 - Kobe Bryant

DENVER -- Attorneys for Kobe Bryant asked a federal judge
Monday to force the woman accusing him of rape to turn over her
medical and educational records so they can defend the NBA star
against her civil lawsuit.

The woman's lawyers have refused to release the records or
identify her health care providers, which Bryant's attorneys say
violate court rules. Withholding such information unfairly hinders
their ability to defend Bryant or prepare expert witnesses, his
attorneys argued in a filing in U.S. District Court.

The woman sued Bryant in federal court in August, three weeks
before the criminal case against him collapsed in Eagle County. The
lawsuit seeks unspecified money damages from Bryant for the alleged
mental injuries, humiliation and public scorn the woman has
suffered since their encounter at an upscale hotel near Vail in
June 2003.

Bryant issued an apology to the woman but maintained the sex was
consensual.

His attorneys argued Monday that the woman has repeatedly
emphasized her alleged emotional injuries without documented proof.

"[The woman] has steadfastly refused to provide the very
records that would permit the defense to verify, or refute, her
claims," the filing said.

The woman's attorneys, L. Lin Wood and John Clune, did not
immediately return after-hours phone messages to their offices and
personal phones Monday.

Both sides have been sparring through court documents over what
personal information should be allowed during trial. No trial date
has been set.

The woman's attorneys are fighting to keep out defense claims
that media organizations, including The Associated Press, and other
outside sources are at least partially responsible for the woman's
alleged emotional injuries.

Meanwhile, Bryant has refused to be questioned under oath by the
woman's attorneys until they agree not to ask him about past sexual
relationships.

Those issues could be discussed during a hearing Wednesday. It's
unclear whether the woman or Bryant will be in the courtroom
because neither are required to appear.

It is the policy of The Associated Press not to name alleged
sexual assault victims without their consent. The woman, whose name
appears in court documents, has asked that her name not be used in
AP stories.