Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant finally has pleaded not guilty in Eagle, Co., to his sexual assault charge. The plea means that the trial must be held within six months.
The Rocky Mountain News says that prosecutors and defense lawyers still are arguing over whether Bryant’s alleged victim should be referred to as the “victim” in court. The defense argues that because his sex with the woman was consensual, it’s for a jury to decide whether a crime even occurred. By calling her a victim, that will prejudice the case – and a jury – against Bryant, says the defense.
The prosecution says that under Colorado law, a complainant in a sexual assault case is legally termed “victim” from the moment a formal allegation is made. With that designation come rights under Colorado’s Victim’s Rights Act.
The defense is asking that Bryant be referred to not by the word “defendant” but by his name, and that his alleged victim be referred to by her name or as the “accuser” or “complaining witness.”