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People v. Bryant

94 P.3d 624 (2004)

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People v. Bryant

Colorado Supreme Court

94 P.3d 624 (2004)

Facts

Kobe Bryant (defendant) was a famous, all-star basketball player. The State of Colorado (plaintiff) charged Bryant with sexually assaulting a woman one night in June 2003. His defense was her consent to the conduct. The case garnered an intense amount of publicity, with the media widely reporting on many details about the victim, including her activities surrounding the night in question, based on publicly available documents and the media’s own investigative efforts. In June 2004, in accordance with Colorado’s rape-shield statute, the trial court held in camera proceedings regarding the relevancy and materiality of evidence of specific instances of the victim’s prior and subsequent sexual conduct that Bryant sought to introduce at trial. Transcripts of the in camera proceedings, which were clearly marked to indicate their confidential nature, were inadvertently disseminated by a court reporter to seven media outlets. The recipients of the transcripts (recipients) immediately prepared stories about the in camera proceedings, but before the stories could be published, the trial court issued an order requiring the transcripts to be destroyed and not to be revealed. The recipients sought review of the trial court’s order as an unconstitutional prior restraint in violation of the federal and state constitutions.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hobbs, J.)

Dissent (Bender, J.)

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