August 08, 2003 01:55 PM

A day after more than 500 media outlets turned up to watch Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant make his first courtroom appearance to answer to sexual assault charges, Court TV has petitioned the judge to allow the network to remain in the courtroom when prosecutors present their case against the all-star guard, reports the Associated Press.

“The eyes of the nation will be focused on the propriety of the judicial process in this case,” Court TV’s legal team wrote in a legal filing released yesterday, according to AP.

The network hopes to carry Bryant’s October hearing live.

The athlete’s attorneys, Pamela Mackey and Hal Haddon, had argued against coverage of Bryant’s initial courtroom appearance on the grounds that the publicity could affect the basketball star’s right to a fair trial.

Bryant, 24, is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old employee at a Colorado resort. He admitted at a press conference that he had sex with the woman on June 30, but says the relations were consensual.

Bryant remains free on $25,000 bond and is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 9.

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