Published January 14, 2004
DENVER – In a broadside against the woman accusing Kobe Bryant (search) of rape, defense attorneys argued Tuesday that her sexual past and mental health history should be allowed as evidence to prove she had a "scheme" to falsely accuse the NBA star.
Attorneys Hal Haddon and Pamela Mackey (search) said denying them the right to bring up such evidence would violate Bryant's constitutional right to a fair trial.
Echoing accusations they raised during Bryant's preliminary hearing last year, the attorneys suggested the 19-year-old woman was injured during sex with "multiple" men in the three days before her encounter with the Los Angeles Lakers (search) star at a Colorado resort.
They also said the woman's medical history, including treatment for mental illness, is relevant because it could help explain "her motive, scheme, plan and modus operandi for falsely accusing Mr. Bryant of sexual assault."
The defense has suggested the woman engaged in a pattern of dangerous acts, including suicide attempts and accusing Bryant of rape, to gain the attention of an ex-boyfriend.
The woman "expected Bryant 'to put a move on her"' before she accepted his invitation to come into his hotel room, the defense said.
John Clune, an attorney for Bryant's alleged victim, did not return a call seeking comment. "If we do respond, it will be in the courtroom," said Krista Flannigan, a spokeswoman for the prosecution.
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.
The Lakers star sprained his shoulder Monday and is expected to sit out a minimum of two to three weeks.
Bryant is due back in an Eagle courtroom on Jan. 23, when state District Judge Terry Ruckriegle is expected to hear arguments on whether the woman's medical records can be used as evidence. The defense says she waived her right to medical privacy, a claim the prosecution denies.
In the latest court filings, Mackey said evidence suggests the woman was either in a manic state or experiencing rapid cycling of manic and depressive states at the time of the June 30 incident in Bryant's hotel room. Mackey said common symptoms of mania include sexual indiscretions.
The defense also said the incident occurred about a month after the woman attempted suicide by overdosing on an anti-psychotic medication, Seroquel, and occurred while she was taking the anti-depressant Wellbutrin.
"Such evidence would be relevant both to help explain to the jury why this young woman might have engaged in multiple acts of consensual sexual intercourse ... and/or why she might be suffering from a delusion -- a false but strongly held belief -- about what occurred in Mr. Bryant's hotel room," Mackey wrote.