Bryant Seeks To Void Rape Shield, Question Witness


Kobe Bryant’s attorneys are attacking the credibility of her accuser and seeking to overturn Colorado’s rape shield law. In a motion unsealed yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports, the defense charges that two apparent suicide attempts by the 19-year-old Eagle, Colo., woman should be admissible because they “establish the accuser’s motive, scheme, plan and modus operandi of creating drama in her life to get attention.”

Attorney Pamela Mackey says the woman was prescribed an anti-psychotic drug for schizophrenia and that she uses suicide attempts to gain the attention of an ex-boyfriend “without regard to the harm caused to others.”

Bryant, 25, is charged with raping the woman June 30 at a mountain resort. He says they had consensual sex. A ptretrial hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Mackey asked a judge to overturn the rape shield law that limits what defense lawyers can ask about an alleged rape victim’s sexual history. “Mr. Bryant seeks to introduce specific instances of the accuser’s sexual conduct,” Mackey said. “After all, it is criminal defendants, not sexual assault accusers, who have the state and federal constitutional right to confront the witnesses against them.”

In defense of the state rape shield law, the Denver Post quotes Cynthia Stone of Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault: “The reason why we keep victims’ privacy in sexual-assault cases and don’t bring things like past sexual history into it is because for many years, that was the main defense. You could drag a woman’s reputation through the mud, whether or not it had anything to do whatsoever with the case. It doesn’t have anything to do with what happened that night. The facts of any case need to be kept to the facts of that specific case.”

Prosecutors asked that any evidence Bryant’s attorneys have of the accuser falsely reporting other sexual assaults be filed under seal. “The accuser’s credibility is crucial,” Mackey wrote. “Without her testimony, the prosecution literally has no case.”

The Rocky Mountain News quotes Denver criminal defense attorney Craig Skinner as saying, “They are basically saying she has a pattern of false reporting, and false reporting doesn’t just mean to the police, but also to her boyfriend. They’re letting you know that part of their defense is that she has a habit of making false reports, whether it concerns suicide or rape, to get the attention of her boyfriend – without regard to whom she steamrolls.”


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