Judge sets hearing on sexual history of Bryant’s accuser
DENVER – Kobe Bryant’s attorneys will get a chance next week to tell the judge why they should be able to use the accuser’s sexual history against her at the NBA star’s sexual assault trial.State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle said Tuesday that attorneys should be prepared during the two-day hearing that begins next Monday to discuss whether the information is relevant to the case.The defense has argued the 19-year-old woman had sex with two other men in the days before her June 30 encounter with Bryant at the hotel near Vail where she worked. They say those men may have caused injuries found by a nurse who examined the woman the next day.Under Colorado’s rape-shield law, Bryant’s attorneys would be able to present evidence about the alleged victim’s sexual past only if the judge determines it is relevant.Bryant, 25, faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. The Los Angeles Lakers star has said the woman consented to having sex with him.Ruckriegle said that he has reviewed information submitted under seal by Bryant’s attorneys and believes it is enough to justify a hearing. To make a determination on whether the information is relevant to the case, he said, he will need to hear specific evidence about the woman’s sexual activity.For that reason, he said, the hearing will be held behind closed doors. Little of the hearing will be open to the public, including arguments over the confidentiality of the woman’s medical history and the legality of Bryant’s statements to police and some evidence that was collected from him.Expected to testify on the medical-privacy issue is Bobby Pietrack, a former boyfriend and high school classmate of the woman who worked as a bellhop at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera. He also is believed to be the first person she spoke to after the alleged attack, potentially making him a valuable witness for prosecutors.Ruckriegle has not said whether he will set a hearing to look into separate arguments by Bryant’s attorneys that the rape-shield law is unconstitutional because it treats alleged victims differently than defendants.Meanwhile, the lead prosecutor on the case, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, said he is running for his first full term while the case moves forward.Hurlbert, 35, a Republican, was appointed by Gov. Bill Owens in 2002 to finish the term of former prosecutor Mike Goodbee, who left to work in the state attorney general’s office. Hurlbert, who lives in Breckenridge, is seeking a four-year term in the Fifth Judicial District, covering Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear Creek counties.