Kobe Accuser Seeks End to Gag Order
Kobe Bryant's accuser wants the gag order lifted on her lawyers. The lawyers argue the gag order prevents them from criticizing the court for mistakenly releasing her name and a transcript in which a defense expert testified she believed the accuser had sex in the 13 hour period between her encounter with Kobe and her rape exam.
The lawyers really want to tell her story--not just criticize the court. With the trial being so close, the gag order is appropriate. The accuser is the complaining witness. Her story should be told in the courtroom, not on television. If Kobe's lawyers can abide by the gag order, and they have, scrupulously so, the accuser should be held to the same standard. The Prosecution speaks for the accuser in their pleadings. How many mouthpieces does she need?
By statute, the accuser has the right to be treated with fairness. But Kobe's constitutional right to a fair trial is paramount. Her lawyers' motion is replete with references to Kobe as the "rapist" and the accuser as the "victim." She's an alleged victim. He's a defendant, not a rapist, and he's presumed innocent. Her lawyers are grandstanding to prejudice the jury pool. Their request should be denied.
In other Kobe news today, the Judge has rejected a request by the accuser's lawyers that the Court cease posting documents online at the court's web site. Another correct ruling.
Document requests in the case have amounted to 15,674 per month between Sept. 1, 2003 and July 26, 2004 -- an average of 712 requests per work day, the judge said. "For a small courthouse with a docket crowded with other matters that also require the clerks' attention, there is simply no way that the current personnel can handle 712 additional document requests per day," the judge said.
Eliminating electronic distribution would "result in having to hire and train 10 new employees at the Eagle courthouse, along with the attendant leasing of computers, office equipment, office space and additional copy machines," the judge said.
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