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Kobe Bryant Misses Court Date Due to Illness - 2004-02-02


Court officials in Eagle, Colorado, say National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant didn't show up for his hearing on Monday because of illness.

Judge Terry Ruckriegle agreed to begin the two-day hearing without Bryant on Monday. The hearing is expected to play a key role in determining whether his statement to authorities will be admitted at his sexual assault trial. Defense attorney Hal Haddon also wants the judge to prohibit the prosecution from using physical evidence obtained during and after the interview.

The hearing began behind closed doors, with attorneys arguing over whether the medical history of the 19-year-old accuser can be used against her. Court officials confirmed medical privacy issues were being discussed at the hearing, but declined to release details. The judge ruled last week that testimony or evidence about Bryant's statements will be heard in private because the statements could influence potential jurors and may not even be allowed at trial. The 25-year-old Bryant faces four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation if convicted of felony sexual assault. He has said he had consensual sex with the woman.

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