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Court's technical fouls

| Sunday, Aug. 1, 2004

A verdict in the Kobe Bryant case is in: The Colorado state court system is guilty of violating the trust of the accuser -- repeatedly.

As well as that of every other American who is considering filing rape charges.

Bryant, who plays basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault. The case might be tried in August if the woman who accused him can withstand the repeated violations of her privacy by the very court that should be protecting it.

Its staff on Wednesday posted a sealed filing in the case regarding possible DNA evidence on the court Web site. Her name was included.

Another court filing on the site in September also inadvertently included her name. In June, court staff accidentally e-mailed transcripts to The Associated Press and six other media groups of a closed-door hearing that dealt with the accuser's sex life and money she received from a victims' compensation fund.

And as if she had not suffered enough humiliation, the hospital where she and Bryant were examined accidentally turned over her medical records to lawyers in the case last fall.

The court's serial outrages are grossly unfair to her -- and to Bryant if she decides to drop the charge. Both will have clouds of suspicion hanging over their heads for the rest of their lives.

The court should hang its head in shame.

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