Web site frustrates Kobe’s alleged victim
The attorney for Kobe Bryant’s alleged victim said her identity appearing on the court’s Web site is putting his client’s safety at risk, and asked that it be shut down.”The worldwide publication of the victim’s name potentially jeopardized the victim’s safety and greatly contributed to her already existing fear for her own physical well-being,” wrote the attorney, John Clune, in a request that appeared Tuesday on the Web site in question.Nearly 400 documents in the high-profile case have been posted on a state court Web site. State District Court Judge Terry Ruckriegle, who is presiding over the Kobe Bryant case, began the practice last year to reduce pressure on court clerks, who received dozens of requests a day to make copies for reporters. Clune based his request on at least two instances in which the woman’s identity has appeared on the Web site. On Sept. 16, the county court mistakenly published the alleged victim’s name on the site. The mistake was quickly discovered and removed in less than an hour.Clune pointed out that just three days prior, a Los Angeles man had been arrested in what authorities said was a credible plan to kill the woman for money. The man making the proposal allegedly used the Internet to acquire the information to hatch his scheme.Last month, a district court clerk mistakenly released the transcript of a closed hearing to seven media outlets. The transcripts contained what Clune called “highly prejudicial, harmful and misleading testimony.””Should the media ever publish that disputed testimony, the level of harm would be immeasurable,” wrote Clune. “The use of electronic distribution of records has twice failed the interests of justice and must be discontinued.”Those media outlets are waiting for a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court before publishing any part of that transcript. Ruckriegle said anyone publishing any part of the transcript could be held in contempt of court and face jail time.Clune said Ruckriegle should not let the court reporter’s mistake influence his decision on whether to admit the details as evidence when the trial begins Aug. 27.”Although the victim remains confident that this court will be unaffected by improper motives, the appearance still remains,” Clune said.Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault, saying he had consensual sex with the woman at the resort where she worked last summer. If convicted, Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation, and a fine up to $750,000.