Details of case against Broncos' Cox remain private for now

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A Colorado judge delayed release of a document detailing allegations of sexual assault against Denver Broncos cornerback Perrish Cox so his lawyer can ask the state Supreme Court to keep it secret.

District Court Judge Paul King granted the delay after a brief hearing Wednesday. Cox wasn't present.

Cox is charged with two counts of sexual assault stemming from a Sept. 6 incident. He has pleaded not guilty.

At issue in Wednesday's hearing was an arrest warrant affidavit, which explains why authorities want a judge to issue a warrant for a suspect's arrest. Such affidavits usually are available to the public, but in January, the judge ordered that the affidavit in Cox's case be kept secret, saying it could expose the cornerback and the alleged victim to abuse.

The Associated Press and The Denver Post asked the judge to reconsider, and he granted the request last week. He said the alleged victim's name and other personal information must be redacted before it is released.

Cox's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, argued that a stay in releasing the affidavit wouldn't delay the criminal proceedings against his client. Afterward, Steinberg declined to comment on why he believes the affidavit should be sealed and what arguments he will make in his appeal to the Supreme Court.

Steven Zansberg, the lawyer representing The AP and The Post, said the delay means it could be weeks or months before the affidavit is released.

"Irrespective of Mr. Cox's profession, courts of law and judicial records ... are open for public inspection absent extraordinary circumstances," Zansberg said after the hearing.

Zansberg said the issue is public access to the courts.

"People should be able to monitor the process of court proceedings," he said.

Cox is charged with one count of sexual assault while the victim was physically helpless and one count of sexual assault while the victim was incapable of determining the nature of the conduct. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Cox was arrested Dec. 9 and is free on $50,000 bail. His trial is scheduled for October.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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