Judge’s doesn’t bar use of Bryant accuser’s name
The judge who will preside over Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault trial issued a decorum order Friday that does not prohibit attorneys from mentioning the name of Bryant’s accuser.
Sticking closely to established guidelines of Colorado law, 5th District Judge Terry Ruckriegle banned statements that prosecutors, defense attorneys or law enforcement officers should know are likely to jeopardize the fairness of the trial.
Off limits are opinions about the guilt or innocence of Bryant and comments about the credibility of any witness, the possibility of a guilty plea, the contents of a statement by Bryant and the results of examinations or forensics tests.
Ruckriegle prohibited the disclosure of information that an attorney “should know is likely to be inadmissible as evidence in the trial.”
Among the topics prosecutors and defense attorneys may discuss are information contained in the public record and the identity of the people involved.
Nothing in the order prohibits lawyers from mentioning the name of the woman who has accused Bryant of rape. Legal analysts said that is standard procedure.
“The general rule in Colorado is that attorneys can speak the alleged victim’s name freely, in or out of court,” said Craig Silverman, a former longtime Denver prosecutor.
Ruckriegle also granted requests by media groups to have cameras in
the court room during Bryant’s first appearance in District Court on
Court TV will have a television camera in the courtroom, NBC will have a camera in the hallway leading to the courtroom and Associated Press will be allowed a still photographer.
In a separate filing, Bryant’s attorneys asked Ruckriegle to dismiss an appeal by media groups to have sealed court files opened to the public.
However, most of the media groups have indicated they wish to withdraw the appeal.