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Pathologist Won’t Testify in Bryant Case

Renowned pathologist Michael Baden will not testify for the prosecution in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, which experts say could weaken the case against the Laker star.

Prosecutors wanted Baden to testify about genital trauma and about a small bruise found on the jaw of Bryant’s accuser at her medical examination the day after the alleged rape June 30, 2003. Baden also was expected to testify regarding strangulation -- Bryant’s accuser says he held her by the neck while raping her -- and to rebut testimony from defense DNA expert Elizabeth Johnson by saying that semen found on the accuser could have transferred from dirty underwear. The news that he would not testify was part of a court document made public Thursday.

Baden has consulted on high-profile cases that include the assassination of President Kennedy and the Nicole Brown Simpson killing. He was in the courtroom during Johnson’s testimony at a closed hearing June 22.

“Michael Baden is both famous and formidable,” legal analyst Craig Silverman said. “For the prosecution to pull him as a witness, it is reasonable to infer that he doesn’t have anything valuable to say to contradict Elizabeth Johnson.”

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Also Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the trial judge, Terry Ruckriegle, and the Colorado attorney general’s office until 1 p.m. today to respond to the appeal made by news organizations to overturn a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court prohibiting publication of transcripts from closed hearings June 21 and 22.


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