Bryant’s alleged victim subpoenaed
Bryant’s alleged victim, a 19-year-old Eagle woman, has been subpoenaed to appear in court when motions hearings in Bryant’s case continue next week.
Earlier this month, the alleged victim’s mother spent more than two hours on the witness stand during a closed hearing. She was one of a day-long parade of witnesses who testified.
In a related matter, Bob Pietrack, the bellman and so-called “outcry witness” to whom the alleged victim first told her version of the incident will probably not be required to testify next week.
Bryant is scheduled to be back in court Monday and Tuesday for another round of motions hearings. Next week’s hearings will deal with the alleged victim’s sexual history, whether Bryant’s attorneys Pamela Mackey and Harold Haddon will have access to the alleged victim’s medical records, and whether sheriff’s investigators acted illegally when they collected clothes and other physical evidence from Bryant when they questioned him during the early morning hours of July 2.
Local attorneys said the alleged victim’s appearance is no surprise, because District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle has ordered a hearing to deal with the defense’s motions to strike down Colorado’s rape shield law. They were surprised, though, that Pietrack has not been asked to appear.
Bryant’s defense attorneys have asserted in various motions that the alleged victim’s sexual history is relevant, especially shortly before and after the June 30 incident during which Bryant, 25, allegedly raped the 19-year-old woman.
“She has to be there,” said local defense attorney Dave Lugert.
Ruckriegle ruled Tuesday that defense attorneys earned the right to a hearing next week on the alleged victim’s sexual history. There they’ll argue why they think the alleged victim’s sexual history should be part of the evidence heard by the jury during the trial. Prosecutors will argue that it’s prohibited under Colorado’s rape shield law, and should not be admitted.
Ruckriegle ordered attorneys for both the prosecution and defense to be ready to argue their cases in the matter.
Lugert said the defense will likely start out in the judge’s chambers arguing why exceptions to the rape shield law should apply in Bryant’s case. Bryant’s defense attorneys will have to present witnesses to discredit the alleged victim’s allegations, Lugert said.
If any sort of credible evidence is presented, the prosecution will have to put the alleged victim on the stand to respond to defense testimony, Lugert said.
Since all that testimony falls under the umbrella of the state’s rape shield law, designed to protect rape victims, none of that testimony will be open to the public. And Lugert said the defense has a tough road to get the alleged victim’s sexual history admitted as evidence, since, under the rape shield law, most of the information is presumed to be irrelevant.
Pietrack’s probable absence from next week’s hearings did surprise Lugert, who said Pietrack will likely be required to testify at some point prior to the trial.
“The bellman’s testimony as the initial contact with the victim could be potentially explosive and important, in that, it casts a shadow across the testimony of the victim or Mr. Bryant, or illuminates or corroborates either of their stories,” said Lugert.
Before any outcry witness testifies in any sexual assault, specific ground rules must be established about what questions can be asked and what answers can be given.
Bryant is charged with one count of felony sexual assault and, if convicted, faces a minimum of 20 years probation and up to life in prison.