NBA Transcripts released in Kobe trial

The prosecution said rulings could cause reevaluation.
DENVER (AP) -- In a glimpse inside the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case, closed hearing transcripts released Monday show that a month before the judge cleared the way for the accuser's sex life to be used as evidence, prosecutors told him such a ruling would force them to reevaluate their chances of winning a conviction.
District Judge Terry Ruckriegle in late July said he would allow the NBA star's defense team to introduce details about the accuser's sexual activities during the three days surrounding her encounter with Bryant to help determine the source of her injuries, DNA evidence and evaluate her credibility.
He also allowed Bryant's tape-recorded statements to investigators and a T-shirt stained with the accuser's blood to be admitted. He has not yet ruled on a prosecution request to limit testimony about the woman's mental health, including what friends described as two suicide attempts.
Case damaged
Prosecutor Ingrid Bakke told the judge the prosecution's case could be damaged if one or more of those decisions favors the defense. Her comments were included in transcripts from the closed June 21-22 hearings that were mistakenly e-mailed by a court reporter to The Associated Press and six other news organizations, which battled Ruckriegle in court to publish the contents. He reluctantly released lightly edited copies late Monday.
"If in fact you were to rule that all of the rape-shield evidence were going to come in in this case, I'm thinking the prosecution is going to sit down and re-evaluate the quality of its case and its chances of a successful prosecution," Bakke told the judge, referring to the woman's sex life.
"That ruling, the ruling on the mental health issues and the suppression of the defendant's statements make a significant change in the case, meaning the parties may have more or less willingness to negotiate based on that," she said.
Ruckriegle told Bakke he understood, but he would not allow plea negotiations once a trial date was set. Three days later, he set an Aug. 27 trial date. He has twice extended the deadline for a plea deal, most recently to July 28.

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