Prosecutors and Kobe Bryant’s attorneys are disputing crucial details on jury instructions, reports the Associated Press. The defense wants Judge Terry Ruckriegle to tell jurors they must acquit Bryant if they determine the alleged victim consented to submit to sex. Bryant is set to be in Eagle, Co., today for a two-day hearing, during which the judge could set a date for the trial on charges that he assaulted a 19-year-old woman nearly a year ago.
Under the defense’s proposed jury instructions, prosecutors would have to prove separately and beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman did not consent to submit to sex. Prosecutors say the assault charge includes an element of submission — “against the alleged victim’s will” — meaning the question of consent to submission does not apply. They contend the defense is mistaken in saying prosecutors must prove Bryant knew the woman did not consent. “These are extremely interesting and important legal issues that legal scholars debate and judges must decide, but they don’t play well on TV, they don’t write up well in the papers,” said defense lawyer Larry Pozner, who is not involved in the case.