Quick trial request questioned by legal experts
In his request for quick trial date, attorney John Clune said he’s trying to create awareness about what his client, Kobe Bryant’s alleged victim, is going through.
But Clune, a former Eagle County prosecutor, have mis-interpreted the law, said Denver defense attorney Craig Silverman.
Silverman said that the law Clune referenced applies only to sexual assault against a child. In Colorado, that’s someone under 15 years old. The alleged victim is 19.
Clune countered that the letter of the law is not the point of Thursday’s request. The point, he said, is finding a way to end the alleged victim’s turmoil and bring the case to a conclusion as quickly as possible.
In his request, Clune wrote, “As the court is certainly aware, cases involving unlawful sexual offenses have the highest statutory priority on the court’s docket.”
The section Clune cited comes from Colorado’s Victim’s Rights Act, passed in 1992. In his request, Clune cites Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-411, subparagraph (4): “All cases involving the commission of an unlawful sexual offense shall take precedence before the court; the court shall hear these cases as soon as possible after they are filed.”
That passage, however, appears under a section defining sexual assault against a child. A brief version of the law is also an amendment to the Colorado Constitution.
“This is either a misreading or a deliberate, misleading interpretation of the law,” said Silverman.
The law has never been tested by an alleged victim asking for a speedy trial, according the Westlaw Web site, which lists all Colorado state law.
The law also says the victim of a sexual assault has up to six years to file any civil lawsuits.