Judge Rejects Kobe's Request to Keep Cameras Out of Courtroom

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The judge in the Kobe Bryant (search) case Monday rejected the NBA star's request to keep cameras out of the courtroom during his first court appearance on a sexual assault charge (search).

Bryant's attorneys argued against allowing cameras during the hearing scheduled Wednesday, saying they could jeopardize Bryant's right to a fair trial.

Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett ruled that was unlikely.

"Defendant's objections are general in nature and do not allege any specific prejudice which may result from expanded media coverage," the judge wrote.

The judge also said he will release a brief submitted by the prosecutor in response to a media request to unseal all court documents, according to Chris Beall, a Denver attorney representing some media groups.

Bryant is charged with felony sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman on June 30 at a mountain resort. The Los Angeles Lakers (search) superstar said the sex was consensual and that he was guilty only of adultery.

At Wednesday's hearing, Gannett will advise Bryant of the charge against him, of his rights and of the possible penalty. His order said there would be no discussions of evidence or fact-finding.

The brief, written by District Attorney Mark Hurlbert, is in response to a request from media organizations, including the Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, NBC and CNN, to open the records to public review.

The media request, made public Monday, asked the judge to release information that was discussed during last week's hearing, or had been disseminated on the Internet. They agreed to omit specific information that could identify the alleged victim.

Hurlbert asked in his filing that other parts of the records be redacted. He identified them by sentence and paragraph, but did not elaborate on the type of information they contained.

Bryant's hearing will be in a courtroom with 68 seats, far fewer than can accommodate the vast number of reporters covering the case. An overflow tent has been set up outside to accommodate the rest of the media.

Anyone attending the hearing must pass through a metal detector, which can detect the cell phones and tape recorders barred by the judge.

"It's going to be a challenge," said Eagle County Undersheriff Ken Wilson. "We've never had anything in Eagle County this big."