Kobe Bryant's Accuser Will Not Testify

Thursday, October 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EAGLE, Colo. (AP) _ The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of rape will not have to testify during the NBA superstar's preliminary hearing next week, a judge ruled Thursday.

Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett also said the Oct. 9 hearing will be open to the public, a decision that could prompt Bryant's defense team to waive the hearing and head straight to trial.

But the judge also said he would meet with attorneys in the case immediately before the hearing to determine whether parts of it will be closed to preserve Bryant's right to a fair trial.

There was no immediate word from Bryant's defense team. Gannett had said he would issue his decisions en masse to give attorneys in the case time to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court if necessary.

The judge also turned down defense requests to see the woman's medical records. She was treated earlier this year at a Greeley hospital after police at the University of Northern Colorado, where she was a freshman, determined she was ``a danger to herself.''

Prosecutors, attorneys for the woman and attorneys for hospitals and clinics asked Gannett to throw out the defense subpoenas. They say such records are protected under state and federal privacy laws and the woman has not waived her confidentiality rights.

Gannett said the should be decided by a state district judge should the case go to trial.

Bryant, 25, was charged with felony sexual assault after the 19-year-old woman said he attacked her June 30 at the mountain resort where she worked and he was a guest. The Los Angeles Lakers star has said the two had consensual sex and he is guilty of nothing more than adultery.

Prosecutors are expected to present key evidence at the hearing, including photographs of what they say are injuries to the woman, a videotaped statement from her and an ``electronically enhanced'' statement from Bryant that supports much of what his accuser told investigators.