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Prosecutors not fighting judge's order

DENVER -- Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against
Kobe Bryant said Thursday they will not appeal a judge's order to
release some of the sealed court records.

The documents slated for release will not threaten Bryant's
right to a fair trial or the privacy rights of the woman who has
accused the NBA superstar of rape, District Attorney Mark Hurlbert
said.

Last week, Judge Frederick Gannett ruled the arrest warrant and
related documents could be released to the public. More detailed
documents, including the arrest affidavit and search warrant, were
to remain sealed. Gannett put his order on hold and gave attorneys
10 days to appeal.

Chris Beall, an attorney representing media organizations
seeking the release of all the records, said his clients will
decide by the Tuesday deadline whether to appeal.

Bryant's attorneys did not immediately return a call for
comment.

The documents Gannett said could be released are likely to
reveal little that is not publicly known about the case, legal
experts say.

Beall has said that without a look at the other documents, the
public has no way of knowing whether the sheriff's office acted
properly in arresting Bryant.

Among those documents the judge said will remain sealed are
those containing "factual statements describing graphic details of
the alleged sexual encounter," medical test results, evidence that
can be challenged in court and the statements of potential
witnesses.

Bryant has said his 19-year-old accuser had consensual sex with
him June 30 at the Lodge & Spa at Cordillera, where she worked and
he was a guest. Bryant, who is free on $25,000 bond, is scheduled
to return to Eagle for an Oct. 9 preliminary hearing, when Gannett
will determine whether there is enough evidence for a trial.

Gannett on Thursday granted a request from news organizations to place cameras in a hallway outside the courtroom during the preliminary hearing. He hasn't ruled on a request to allow cameras inside the courtroom.

Steven Zansberg, an attorney working with Beall, said Thursday
he has asked the judge to set a time frame for any court filings
seeking to close the preliminary hearing. He wants the judge to
allow such requests only up to 30 days before the hearing to allow
adequate time for arguments.

Zansberg said Colorado law allows closure of a preliminary
hearing in cases including felony sexual assault, but he believes
it hasn't been used since the state Supreme Court set standards for
closure in 1979.

Zansberg would not say whether he expected defense attorneys to
ask Gannett to close the hearing.

Many court documents in the case have been sealed since Bryant,
25, was arrested July 4. Among those Gannett said will remain
sealed are those that contain "factual statements describing
graphic details of the alleged sexual encounter," medical test
results, evidence that can be challenged in court and the
statements of potential witnesses.

The public release of such information could threaten Bryant's
right to a fair trial, and subject the woman to ``further
intimidation, harassment and abuse,'' Gannett said.

The media organizations seeking the documents include NBC, CNN,
The Denver Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Vail Daily
newspaper.