The Colorado judge presiding over Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case warned reporters they may not get a seat in his courtroom if they publish the name or photograph of the basketball star’s alleged victim.
Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett issued the warning as part of a three-page “decorum” order, outlining the ground rules for media planning to cover the Aug. 6 hearing and future court appearances, the Associated Press reported.
The alleged victim’s name, address and phone number have also been posted on Web sites. A Los Angeles-based talk show host whose show is heard in 60 cities has used her name on the air.
New York lawyer Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment expert, said the judge’s warning about publishing a name or photograph may be unconstitutional.
“I think it is very likely unconstitutional to either limit the press’s right to publish the name of the alleged victim, or to punish it by taking away seating privileges if it does so,” Abrams told the Rocky Mountain News.