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Accuser in Bryant Case to Testify Tuesday

Times Staff Writer

The woman accusing Kobe Bryant of sexual assault is scheduled to testify in closed court Tuesday during a hearing that will challenge the constitutionality of the Colorado rape-shield law.

Prosecutors filed a motion Friday seeking to limit the scope of questions that Bryant’s attorneys will be allowed to ask the 19-year-old Eagle, Colo., woman. Judge Terry Ruckriegle will hear arguments from both sides Monday before he sets ground rules for her testimony.

Ruckriegle admonished prosecutors for waiting until Friday to ask the court to limit the questioning, noting that the defense motion that triggered the woman’s subpoena was filed Dec. 12.

Bryant’s attorneys filed several motions that day, including one that challenged the rape-shield statute, another that sought to admit evidence of two purported suicide attempts by the woman and her taking of antipsychotic drugs, and another that requested a hearing regarding “relevant and material evidence of specific instances of the accuser’s prior and subsequent sexual conduct.”

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Bryant, 25, is accused of raping the woman June 30 at a mountain resort and is free on a $25,000 bond. He says they had consensual sex.

The defense contends the woman had sex with two men in addition to Bryant in the days surrounding the alleged rape, making it difficult to tell which encounter caused vaginal trauma. The woman told investigators she had sex with a boyfriend two days before the encounter with Bryant, and semen and pubic hair from a man other than Bryant were detected on underwear she wore to a rape examination July 1.

Prosecutor Dana Easter said that the justification offered by the defense to question the woman is “woefully inadequate” and that Bryant’s attorneys “seek to circumvent the entire purpose of the rape-shield statute.”

“The defense ... intends to humiliate and embarrass her with allegations of conduct which have no bearing on this case whatsoever,” Easter said.

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