Prosecutors ready to counter DNA claims of defense
Kobe Bryant’s prosecutors will present their own DNA expert if the defense presents evidence of unidentified semen in the woman’s underwear, according to a court filing made public Tuesday.The expert would testify that semen stains on cotton can persist long after washing, the filing said.The filing comes on the heels of Monday’s release of edited transcripts from a June 21-22 hearing in which a defense expert said sperm and semen from one person other than Bryant were found on both pairs of his alleged victim’s underwear – the pair she wore the night of the incident, and the pair she wore the next day to the hospital for her rape exam.Prosecutors have hired Dr. Henry Lee as their expert DNA witness. His testimony would oppose that of defense DNA expert witness Dr. Elizabeth Johnson of Technical Associates. Bryant’s defense attorneys plan to call Colorad Bureau of Investigations expert Yvonne Wood to testify on their behalf on the issue and to oppose Lee.Some 200 pages from a closed hearing in June were released late Monday by District Judge Terry Ruckriegle under pressure from the state and U.S. supreme courts. The documents mistakenly e-mailed to seven news organizations in June were released after the media won a First Amendment fight that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. In all, the judge redacted 68 lines out of hundreds in the transcripts he reluctantly released.”Release of that kind of information this close to a trial date has to be dealt with,” said the alleged victim’s attorney John Clune, who will appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” at 7:30 a.m. today. “If those were Kobe Bryant’s statements, the defense would be screaming that the case must be dismissed. That’s the situation the District Attorney’s Office is in with the release of these transcripts.”The documents include testimony from a DNA expert for the defense, Elizabeth Johnson, who says she is convinced the accuser had sex with someone after Bryant and before she contacted authorities – a claim Clune has vehemently denied.”It is one-sided information and we hope that people will keep that in mind. That’s what the trial is for,” District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said. There was no testimony in the documents from a prosecution expert on the issue.