About one month ago, we posted a piece about high-profile Denver Broncos player Perrish Cox. The NFL star faces two serious charges: sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct.
We last left the story with the point that both the prosecution and defense in this case were pressing the district judge to keep the star’s arrest affidavit private. They did not want the details of the allegations getting out to the media and the public. Yesterday, the judge made his awaited decision regarding that controversial request.
Media sources such as The Denver Post and The Associated Press are probably happy that, as it turns out, they got their way. The judge in this sex assault case ruled that the court had no right to keep the case sealed from the media. For the sake of the First Amendment, he ruled that the affidavit will be unsealed.
It’s a bit more obvious why the defense in this case would want the affidavit to be kept private. In sex assault cases involving celebrity defendants, the public tends to recklessly form passionate opinions. A widespread negative public opinion could severely interfere with Cox’s right to getting a fair trial with a non-biased jury, argued the defense.
The prosecution reportedly wanted the affidavit kept private for the sake of the alleged sexual assault victim’s privacy. The two legal teams’ arguments combined, however, apparently didn’t sway the judge as strongly as the media’s argument for freedom of the press. The press will get to exercise that freedom by Jul. 1, when the case affidavit will be officially unsealed.
A hearing in this high-profile Colorado sex assault case is scheduled for October. Cox has already pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Associated Press: “Details of Perrish Cox allegations will be released,” 22 Jun. 2011