View Full Version : Bryant prosecutors accuse defense of orchestrating media leaks

10-23-2003, 01:32 PM
Bryant prosecutors accuse defense of orchestrating media leaks (http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/10/23/bryant.case.ap/index.html)

DENVER, Colorado (AP) -- Prosecutors in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case on Thursday angrily accused defense attorneys of leaking sealed details to the media and asked a judge to consider punishing the defense team.

In a court filing, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said retired state District Judge William Jones learned of sealed information from defense attorney Hal Haddon and gave it to a reporter for the New York Daily News, which ran a story quoting Jones on October 11.

The details -- that another man's semen was found in underwear worn by Bryant's accuser -- had not yet been brought up in Bryant's preliminary hearing, which ended October 15.

Hurlbert also cited the defense's repeated use of the accuser's name during the hearing and its questioning of the woman's sex history, which is normally kept secret under Colorado's rape shield law.

"In the past two weeks, the defense has been on a campaign to get information in the public domain that has been specifically prohibited by the court," Hurlbert wrote.

Neither Jones nor Haddon returned calls for comment Thursday. Jones earlier told The Associated Press he had been misquoted and was basing his comments on what he heard was said in court.

The newspaper reporter stood behind the story in an interview with an investigator, Hurlbert said.

Hurlbert asked Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett to hold a hearing to determine whether Haddon violated a gag order on attorneys and others involved in the case.

Punishment for contempt of court could include a fine, but sanctions are left up to a judge, prosecution spokeswoman Krista Flannigan said.

Bryant, 25, is accused of raping an employee at an exclusive mountain resort in June.

The Los Angeles Lakers guard is due in court Nov. 10 for his initial appearance, during which he will be advised of the felony sexual assault charge against him and could enter a plea.