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Judge warns Bryant prosecutors over DNA
Updated: 2004-06-05 10:50

The judge in the Kobe Bryant sex assault case warned prosecutors Friday they may face sanctions for not following a court order to include a defense witness at any testing of DNA evidence.

LA Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant and attorney Pamela Mackey. A judge took a swipe at prosecutors pursuing NBA star Kobe Bryant on rape charges, threatening them with sanctions unless they obey his orders over DNA testing in the case. [AFP]
In a court filing, Judge Terry Ruckriegle gave prosecutors until Tuesday to explain why they did not comply with an order issued after months of legal wrangling.

Prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan declined comment. Earlier in the week she had blamed lab policies for barring the defense witness.

Legal experts say sanctions could include contempt of court, or at worse, prevent the introduction of some crucial evidence.

Bryant, 25, has pleaded not guilty to felony sexual assault and said he had consensual sex with a 19-year-old woman last summer at the resort where she worked. If convicted, the Los Angeles Lakers star faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation and a fine up to $750,000.

Prosecutors haven't publicly disclosed what evidence they want tested, though it is believed to involve material gathered during hospital exams of the accuser and Bryant.

Prosecutors have said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation conducted DNA testing on the material last fall; a lab hired by Bryant's attorneys conducted its own testing this spring.

The results were different, and prosecutors want to test the material again, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said at a hearing last month.

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