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Judge loosens gag order in Bryant case

By The Associated Press
08.19.04

DENVER — The judge in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case has loosened a sweeping gag order after objections from prosecutors, news organizations and attorneys for the accuser.

The new order, made public yesterday, permits comments to reporters in some circumstances but still prohibits talking about the character and credibility of the accuser, Bryant or any witness. Also prohibited are comments about expected testimony, the possibility of a plea agreement, and Bryant's guilt or innocence.

It replaces an Aug. 4 order that prohibited any comment to reporters by anybody connected with the case, and by people who share offices with anybody connected to the case.

That order was requested by the defense after attorneys for the accuser appeared on national television and criticized the judge for courtroom blunders.

Bryant, 25, is charged with felony sexual assault. He pleaded innocent and has said he had consensual sex with an employee of the Vail-area resort where he stayed last summer.

If convicted, he faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation. Jury selection is scheduled to begin next week.


Update
Judge restricts cameras in Kobe Bryant trial
News organizations had sought to photograph, videotape entire trial, but judge limits their use, saying too much exposure might threaten possibility of fair hearing. 08.25.04

Previous
Judge refuses to stop online posting of Bryant case documents
District Judge Terry Ruckriegle says practice isn't foolproof but it makes the most sense in effort to keep public abreast of developments. 08.10.04

Related

Why the rash of restraints against the news?

By Gene Policinski Believers in free press sounding alarms on recent court moves against journalists. 08.20.04

Gag orders


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