Camera-shy Kobe's request turned down

EAGLE (Colorado): The judge in the Kobe Bryant case on Monday rejected the NBA star's request to keep cameras out of the courtroom during his first court appearance on a sexual assault charge. 

Bryant's attorneys argued against allowing cameras during the hearing scheduled late yesterday, saying they could jeopardise Bryant's right to a fair trial. 

Eagle County Judge Frederick Gannett ruled that was unlikely. 

“Defendant's objections are general in nature and do not allege any specific prejudice which may result from expanded media coverage'' of the hearing, the judge wrote. 

Bryant is charged with felony sexual assault against a 19-year-old woman on June 30 at a mountain resort. The Los Angeles Lakers standout has said the sex was consensual and he is guilty only of adultery. 

At Wednesday's hearing, Gannett will advise Bryant of the charge against him, of his rights and of the possible penalty. His order said there would be no discussions of evidence or fact-finding. 

Allowing cameras in the courtroom won't interfere with the “solemnity, decorum and dignity'' of the hearing, he added. – AP 

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