After a series of court decisions in his rape trial that made Kobe Bryant and his defense team happy, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED released a story Aug. 3 about a 22-year-old waitress who says she was groped by Bryant two years ago at a party at Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando home. Denver legal analyst Scott Robinson questions whether this is a witness the prosecution hopes to use, since her name should have appeared on a subpoena six weeks ago. Still, experts caution that it is too early to count out the prosecution. “We have to keep in mind that we are seeing only one side,” says former Denver prosecutor Karen Steinhauser.
RUSTY YATES MOVES ON
Rusty Yates has filed for a divorce from his wife, Andrea, saying that the pair stopped living together as husband and wife on June 20, 2001—the day Andrea, now 40, drowned their five children. “I don’t blame Rusty. He does need to get on with his life,” Andrea’s mother, Karin Kennedy, told PEOPLE.
THE ARMY OPENS FIRE
U.S. Army Pfc. Lynndie England listened stoically in silence Aug. 3 as Special Agent Paul D. Arthur, an investigator in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, testified before a Fort Bragg, N.C., military hearing that England told him she didn’t think that posing for photos with naked prisoners “was that serious.” England is expected to call her own witnesses. Depending on the decision of investigating officer Col. Denise Arn, she could face full court-martial.
TALE OF THE TAPES
Ordering hardcore adult TV channels isn’t a crime—but the prosecution at Scott Peterson’s murder trial is attempting to argue that, in his case, it just might indicate one. Over the objections of defense attorney Mark Geragos, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi allowed prosecutors to introduce evidence Aug. 3 that Peterson ordered pornography on a satellite service 19 days after his wife went missing, which they maintain shows that Scott knew Laci wasn’t coming back. He canceled the service the day the cops searched his house.
Though Loyola Law School professor Stan Goldman thinks the prosecution may have scored a point, he says they need heavier ammunition. One possibility: incriminating testimony from ex-mistress Amber Frey, who is due to take the stand any day. “What the prosecution has proven isn’t very important,” Goldman says. “And what is important they have yet to prove.”