Bryant gets another shot at accuser’s medical info
Kobe Bryant’s defense attorneys will get another shot at pushing some of the medical and psychological information about his alleged victim in front of a jury.
State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle ruled Wednesday that he will hear witness testimony about the woman’s medical history, including mental health information. Those hearings will be in closed session, adding yet another round of private pre-trial hearings in the case.
The hearings will deal, in part, with the alleged victim’s drug overdoses – referred to “suicide attempts” in defense motions – in February and May 2003, and any medications she may have been taking as a result.
Ruckriegle, however, ruled last week the defense would not have access to hard copies of the woman’s medical records.
Local attorney and former state and federal prosecutor David Lugert said the testimony given in Wednesday’s hearing could, at least in part, overlap with testimony given previously about whether or not the woman waived her rights to privacy when she discussed some of her medical conditions with acquaintances and family members.
Last week Ruckriegle ruled the woman did not waive her right to privacy in denying Bryant’s attorneys access to her medical records.
“It’s another entire body of testimony,” Lugert said. “It’s clear records won’t be exchanged with the defense, but some of the information might be available through another source – witnesses.”
Ruckriegle’s ruling follows sealed motions and responses filed by both prosecutors and the defense.
Prosecutors said in a sealed motion that the “medical and mental health information and related details are not relevant in the trial in this case.”
Bryant’s defense attorneys countered that the information is relevant because, “the purported suicide attempts are admissible as evidence,” and that the alleged victim’s mental health history and prescribed medication speak to her “ability to accurately perceive or recall an event.”
Lugert said the ruling gives both sides another opportunity to sculpt what the jury will hear when the trial starts.