Kobe's Accuser: Having Second Thoughts?
Lawyers for Bryant's alleged victim contend she cannot have a fair trial after court mistakes
Kobe Bryant’s accuser may be having second thoughts about proceeding with the sexual assault case against the Los Angeles Lakers star, because of accidental court leaks of her name and the very real possibility that her sexual history may be entered as evidence, say her lawyers.
Attorneys John Clune and Lin Wood, who represent Bryant’s alleged victim, told ABC’s Good Morning America that their client’s privacy has been violated, which may make it impossible for her to address allegations lodged against her by Bryant’s legal team.
Last Friday, Judge Terry Ruckriegle, who will preside over the trial set to begin Aug. 27, apologized to the alleged victim and her family after a Colorado’s Eagle County Court mistakenly posted the accuser’s name on the court’s Web site. (It also wasn’t the first time the woman’s identity was revealed there.)
Besides the woman’s name, the results of a DNA test that revealed that someone other than Bryant may have had sex with her also was posted.
Clune and Wood told GMA that the apology did little to repair the damage that has been done to their client.
“She’s obviously got to rethink what she’s going to do,” said Wood. “This young girl for over a year has stood up with resolve and with courage, despite the fact that her reputation has been smeared, her privacy has been invaded. … Now, three weeks before the trial, you have a defense paid expert’s testimony released, she has to look at this and wonder whether she can be treated fairly in the criminal justice system.”
The attorney said the alleged 20-year-old victim may consider a civil case against Bryant, 25, who has pleaded not guilty and claims the sex he had with her at a Colorado resort last year was consensual.
If convicted of felony sexual assault, Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation and a maximum fine of $750,000.