Judge Closes Key Hearing in Bryant Case

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By: Jon Sarche, Associated Press Writer

(AP) This week’s hearing to determine whether the alleged victim in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case has given up her medical privacy rights will be closed to the public, the judge ruled Wednesday.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday to determine whether Bryant’s attorneys can prove the 19-year-old woman has given up her privacy rights by talking about her medical condition and treatment with others.

State District Judge Terry Ruckriegle said evidence and testimony likely to be presented during the hearing would bring up embarrassing information that would be disseminated around the world due to the intense media interest in the case against the Los Angeles Lakers star.

Chris Beall, a Denver attorney representing several media organizations including The Associated Press, said his clients had not yet determined whether to file an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Bryant, 25, faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. He has said he had consensual sex with the woman, a former employee of a mountain resort where he stayed June 30.

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