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What a smile might mean

Don Rogers

With the hearings this week dealing with evidence that could make or break the rape case against Kobe Bryant held in secret, the reporters were left to facial expressions and loosely balled fists to divine meaning out of what was going on behind the doors of Courtroom 1.

In the hallway, the prosecutors were smiling. The alleged witness was resolute. Bryant grim. His lawyers polite. Hmm. What could that all mean?

Well, little, really.



Bryant joked with a teammate as he winged in to LA just in time for the big game against the top team for the moment, the Sacramento Kings, and dropped 36 points on them. His team, the Los Angeles Lakers, blew out the Kings. Then he waxed on about putting God first. Wish that were first on this fella’s mind June 30.

The young woman who accused him of rape, meantime, went out for dinner and was hasseled by an … with a camera. Isn’t just the pathetic Globe printing photos of her? Give it up already.



Inside the courtroom, Judge Terry Ruckriegle has the thoroughly onerous task of drawing legal lines around bodily fluids not belonging to Kobe Bryant; who did what when and what it matters to an accusation of rape; medical confidentiality regarding mental health records; and where the secret lives of 19-year-olds and 20-somethings impact a case that could lock up one of America’s celebrities for up to life – or probation with a monitor on his private parts forever.

The prosecutors have had little to smile about in the early going – if eight months can be called “early.” The woman holding up on the stand would be a good sign, though.

What matters, though, is what the judge deems pertinent about the woman’s life and activities to the trial. And he won’t be judging by smiles. D.R.


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