EAGLE, Colo. – Prosecutors, apparently frustrated by the slow pace of the sexual assault case against NBA star Kobe Bryant (search), accused the defense team Friday of raising "preposterous" issues and dragging its feet.
In a terse reply to a defense motion, prosecutor Mark Hurlbert (search) reiterated his desire, and that of the 19-year-old accuser, to have Bryant enter a formal plea and move on to trial.
Hurlbert also took issue with defense attorney Hal Haddon's (search) claim that Bryant has always wanted an early trial date, but has been slowed down by the prosecution's legal tactics.
"He says he has always wanted to move the case along, yet will wait so Fifth Judicial District policy can take its course," Hurlbert said. "We are, through no fault of the people, 10 months after the crime with no arraignment."
Haddon said the defense would wait to enter a not guilty plea until most or all pretrial hearings are completed; hearings are scheduled into mid-May. The next hearings are set for April 26-28.
The legal sniping has gone on for months, with Haddon challenging even the prosecution's references to the woman as a "victim" and "girl," and questioning whether the case should get priority in court because of the "serious dispute" over whether a crime occurred.
Bryant, 25, has said he had consensual sex with the woman last summer at the Vail-area resort where she worked. If convicted of felony sexual assault, he faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation.