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Judge sets hearing in Bryant case
Updated: 2004-02-25 11:35

Kobe Bryant's attorneys will get a chance next week to tell a judge why they should be able to use the accuser's sexual history against her at the basketball star's sexual assault trial.

State Judge Terry Ruckriegle said Tuesday that attorneys should be prepared during the two-day hearing that begins Monday to discuss whether the information is relevant to the case.

The defense has argued the 19-year-old woman had sex with two other men in the days before her June 30 encounter with Bryant at the hotel near Vail where she worked. They say those men may have caused injuries found by a nurse who examined the woman the next day.

Under Colorado's rape-shield law, Bryant's attorneys would be able to present evidence about the alleged victim's sexual past only if the judge determines it is relevant.

Bryant, 25, faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. The Los Angeles Lakers star has said the woman consented to have sex with him.

The judge said he has reviewed information submitted by Bryant's attorneys and believes it is enough to justify a hearing. To determine whether the information is relevant, he said, he will need to hear specific evidence about the woman's sexual activity.

For that reason, he said, the hearing will largely be held behind closed doors.

Representatives of the media submitted a brief Tuesday arguing the hearing should be open.

Meanwhile, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert announced that he will run for re-election, even as he prosecutes Bryant.

It would be his first four-year term. The 35-year-old Republican was appointed in 2002 to replace Democrat Mike Goodbee, who left for the state attorney general's office.

"I decided to run because, although I have accomplished a lot in the short time I have been district attorney, I still feel there's more I can accomplish and benefit the people of Eagle County," Hurlbert said Monday.

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