Judge Closes Key Hearing in Kobe Case

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Courtroom arguments over whether Kobe Bryant's (search) accuser has given up her medical privacy rights (search) will be closed to the public, the judge ruled Wednesday.

A 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.

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 (search) star.

Chris Beall, an attorney representing several media organizations including The Associated Press, said his clients had not yet determined whether to file a 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 sexual assault. He has said he had consensual sex with the woman, a former employee of a mountain resort where he stayed June 30.

Other parts of Friday's hearing are expected to remain open.

The judge is expected to hear arguments on whether the records of a rape crisis center should remain private. An employee with the center sat in during a police interview of the woman.

The judge also is expected to hear arguments over the defense's role in evidence testing and a report from prosecutors about who ordered or received T-shirts mocking Bryant as a "cheater."