DENVER (AP) – Kobe Bryant’s lawyers have subpoenaed a Colorado hospital to see his accuser’s medical records – the first indication they might make her mental health an issue if the sexual assault case against the NBA star goes to trial.
The subpoenas were disclosed in a court filing by a Greeley hospital where the 19-year-old accuser was treated in February after police at the University of Northern Colorado determined she was a “danger to herself.”
Campus police have refused to say whether the woman attempted suicide, saying only that the hospitalization was for a mental health issue.
Attorneys for the North Colorado Medical Center and its psychiatric care center asked a judge to quash the subpoenas and destroy the records already sent to him, citing medical privacy laws.
Medical center attorney Mike McConnell said there are legal provisions for giving medical records to attorneys in criminal cases, and the hospital wants to make sure it is taking the required steps.
The woman’s attorney has told the hospital she has “explicitly not waived her medical privilege,” according to the filing.
Calls to the accuser’s attorney and Bryant’s defense team were not returned Tuesday.
Bryant, 25, is charged with sexually assaulting the 19-year-old Colorado resort employee June 30. The Los Angeles Lakers guard has said the sex was consensual. An Oct. 9 hearing will determine whether there will be a trial.
Information about the woman’s mental health might never be presented to the jury if the case goes to trial, a legal expert said.
“Whether that would be allowed depends on whether there’s anything else there other than (attempted) suicide, some other indication of mental instability or something that would point toward her being an unreliable observer or witness,” said Christopher Mueller, a professor at the University of Colorado law school.
Meanwhile, an Iowa college student pleaded innocent in Denver federal court Tuesday to making a death threat against Bryant’s accuser in a profanity-laced telephone message last month.