Bryant Judge orders release of more docs |

Bryant Judge orders release of more docs

DENVER – Dozens of previously sealed court filings and transcripts of closed-door hearings in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case will soon be released to the public after certain information is removed.District Judge Terry Ruckriegle of Breckenridge said Thursday he agreed with media attorneys that there was no reason to keep the material sealed after prosecutors dismissed the charge because the 20-year-old woman was no longer willing to participate in a trial.No timeline was given for releasing the material, which will include documents regarding DNA testing, Bryant’s statements to investigators, various arguments about evidence and expert witnesses, and transcripts from hearings on defense efforts to suppress certain evidence.The judge said keeping court filings sealed made no sense because Bryant’s statements to investigators have been leaked to the media and hundreds of pages of case files have been released by the sheriff and prosecutors.”Further, as noted by the news media, there remains a public as well as an academic interest in what occurred in this case as many of the issues have not been addressed in any reported decisions,” Ruckriegle said.Some details will be redacted from the documents, including the woman’s name; information regarding her sexual activities that were ruled irrelevant to the case; personal identification information of the woman, Bryant, witnesses and others involved; certain crime victims’ compensation information; and medical information.Attorneys for Bryant and the alleged victim did not immediately return calls. Bryant’s attorneys told Ruckriegle they would not object to the release as long as both sides were treated fairly.The Los Angeles Lakers star has insisted the incident with the employee of a Vail-area resort last year was consensual. The judge tossed out the assault charge in September after the woman said she could not go forward with the case.Attorneys for the woman had asked the judge to keep records sealed if they addressed sexual activities that were ruled inadmissible; any alleged substance abuse or mental health history; and other details about her and Bryant that had been ruled inadmissible.The woman has sued Bryant in federal court in Denver, seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering she says she has suffered since the alleged assault June 30, 2003.The woman’s name is part of the public record in the civil case, but The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault and has not done so in the Bryant case.Ruckriegle said he would remove the protected information as quickly as he can. Previously sealed court filings will be posted on the state court’s Web site that had been used to distribute other documents in the case, and Ruckriegle authorized the court reporter to release redacted transcripts of the hearings.

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