Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Judge in Bryant case throws out evidence

Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case made news
Wednesday, as the judge in the case barred evidence from a medical exam
performed on the superstar guard.

State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle said investigators didn’t have the
proper search warrant to transport Bryant to the hospital in the middle of the
night. Ruckriegle also extended a “plea negotiation deadline” until Tuesday,
July 19, because of his order.

The next set of pretrial hearings is scheduled for July 19-21.

Ruckriegle, though, denied a defense request to throw out a 75-minute
interview of the NBA star by detectives and evidence including a shirt stained
with the alleged victim’s blood. The judge then disagreed when Bryant’s
attorneys said the material was gathered while Bryant was illegally in
custody.

According to Ruckriegle, the 25-year-old Bryant willingly talked to the
detectives and gave them some of his clothing. Ruckriegle also noted that
there was no evidence of coercion put on Bryant to either speak to the
authorities or to provide the items from his room.

Prosecutors had argued in favor of submitting the medical exam and the rest of
the evidence, saying that it was collected with Bryant’s consent the night
after the alleged attack.

During a hearing in February, lead investigator Doug Winters acknowledged that
Bryant’s hospital examination violated Colorado court rules.

Bryant is accused of sexually assaulting a woman nearly a year ago 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.

LAL