Race Card But No Start Date in Kobe Trial

06/22/2004 at 08:00 AM EDT

Race Card But No Start Date in Kobe Trial
Helen Richardson - Pool/Getty Images
There's still no start date for the sexual assault trial of Kobe Bryant – despite both the prosecution and the defense saying they would be ready by the last week of August.

At a pretrial hearing Monday in the Eagle, Colo., the L.A. Lakers star, making his first appearance there since his team lost the NBA title to the Detroit Pistons, arrived with attorney Pam Mackey at about 8:30 a.m. to a flurry of flashes from photographers.

Pretrial arguments included a discussion about jury pre-screening questionnaires, with the prosecution objecting to three questions (out of 115) that concern attitudes toward interracial relationships or dating, which prosecutor Dana Easter considered "so far from the facts in this case. ... This was not a relationship, this was not a date."

Still, Craig Silverman, a former Denver prosecutor and legal analyst who attended Monday's hearing, believes some questions about race will definitely be included in the final questionnaire, which still isn't ready for public dissemination.

Judge W. Terry Ruckriegle also heard oral arguments on what both sides hope to see in terms of instructions to the jury.

"It's a very confusing subject given current Colorado law," Silverman tells PEOPLE. "The whole sexual assault law was rewritten a couple of years ago (with) glitches in the law, and this is one of them."

Adds Silverman: "You can understand Kobe Bryant's defense team's concern. What if a jury concludes, 'Yes he was overly aggressive, and yes he used means reasonably calculated to overcome her will.' The prosecution says he's guilty, end of the story. But what if he acted in that aggressive fashion and she consented to that; does that still mean the guilty verdict? The defense is crying, 'No way.'"

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