August 10, 2004 02:00 PM

Lawyers for the woman accusing Kobe Bryant of sexual assault have come out swinging against the judge in the case, criticizing him for imposing a gag order after their client was “devastated” by the Lakers superstar’s defense evidence.

Attorneys John Clune and L. Lin Wood claim Judge Terry Ruckriegle imposed an unconstitutional gag order to protect his own reputation. They want the order eliminated or at least or reduced in scope, because they say, it threatens their client’s reputation and right to a fair trial, the Associated Press reports.

On Friday, the jurist ordered everyone in the case not to discuss it with the media.

On Monday, Clune and Wood filed their scathing reply, charging that Friday’s gag order lets stand the “devastating, one-sided account” of a court transcript from a closed-door hearing, which looked into whether the accuser’s sexual history might be entered into evidence.

The accuser reportedly contemplated pulling out of the case after an assistant for Judge Ruckriegle accidentally e-mailed court transcripts to seven media outlets, focused primarily on a defense expert’s opinion that the woman had sex with a “Mr. X” just hours after she was allegedly attacked by Bryant.

Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty, saying the 20-year-old woman consented to sex with him last summer at a Vail-area resort, where she worked as a concierge.

You May Like