Thursday , Jun , 10 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Judge denies Bryant’s attempt to omit Colorado’s rape shield law

Eagle, CO (Sports Network) – Terry Ruckriegle, the district judge in the Kobe
Bryant sexual assault case, rejected arguments by the NBA star’s attorneys on
Thursday that the rape-shield law in Colorado is unconstitutional.

The rape-shield law, created in the mid-1970s, generally prevents defense
attorneys from using information regarding the sexual history of alleged
assault victims.

Defense attorney Hal Haddon argued that the law violates Bryant’s right to
equal protection because under another state law, a defendant’s sexual history
is presumed to be relevant and is admissible at trial.

Ruckriegle stated that Bryant’s sexual history will not be mentioned in court,
though, thus making Haddon’s argument irrelevant.

The 25-year-old Bryant is accused of sexually assaulting a woman last June 30
at a Colorado resort, a Class 3 felony with penalties ranging from four years
to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.

Bryant, who was in Colorado for surgery on his right knee at the time of the
alleged assault, claimed the two had consensual sex.

The defense has insisted throughout that the woman had sex with someone else
less than 15 hours after her alleged assault by Bryant, and that injuries
found on the woman’s body could have been caused by sexual partners before her
encounter with Bryant.