A court official in the Kobe Bryant sexual-assault case on Wednesday mistakenly posted a judge’s order on a court Web site that contained the name of the accuser and previously undisclosed details of evidence – the third time that sealed information in the case has mistakenly been made public, reports the Denver Post.
The order from Judge Terry Ruckriegle also disclosed a reference to DNA testing that legal experts said could benefit the L.A. Lakers star, who has pleaded not guilty to sexually assault a 19-year-old hotel concierge. Bryant, 25, has claimed that sex with the woman was consensual.
Last week, an attorney for the accuser – whose name has been kept out of the press, despite these slip-ups – asked the jurist to discontinue posting documents from the case on the court’s Web site, saying the earlier errors had harmed his client.
The apparent mistake comes on the heels of an effort by the woman’s attorney, John Clune, to end the electronic publication of court documents. At a July 19 hearing, he told the judge that his client has considered abandoning the case only when “the people sworn to protect her rights have failed. There is no safety in the court.”
In a statement Wednesday, Clune said, “It is inconceivable how this court can explain its continual pattern of re-victimizing this 20-year-old girl. This judge must learn that the trust a victim places in the judiciary is the foundation for the courage that all victims must have to endure the brutal nature of rape prosecutions.”
Judge Ruckriegle’s order reportedly asked both sides in the case to come up with an agreement on the use of DNA tests taken from Bryant and was noted to have been filed “under seal.”
Shortly after its posting the offending page was taken off the site. The mistake came nine days after attorney asked Ruckriegle to cease electronic postings of case documents.