MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Defenders of Douglas Kennedy characterized Northern Westchester Hospital nurse Cari Luciano as opportunistic and overly dramatic during her cross-examination Wednesday, the third day of Kennedy’s trial at Mount Kisco Justice Court.
Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, pleaded not guilty to two counts of harassment and endangerment of a child, a misdemeanor, charges that stem from an incident on Jan. 7 when he decided to take his newborn son Bo out of the Mount Kisco hospital’s maternity ward to get some "fresh air."
Luciano and fellow maternity nurse Anna Lane said they attempted to prevent Kennedy from leaving with the baby as he tried to exit through the stairwell door.
For the second day in a row, defense counsel went frame by frame through hospital surveillance videos aiming to show that the nurses overreacted, while Kennedy remained calm throughout the entire situation.
Kennedy’s lawyer Robert Gottlieb said there are inconsistencies between the nurses’ testimonies and their depictions of the incident to Mount Kisco police, in which they said that Kennedy twisted Lane’s arm as she held the doorknob to the stairwell, and then kicked Luciano in the groin as she reached out toward the baby.
Gottlieb said that in her sworn statement to police, Luciano said the infant’s head was “violently shaking” when she reached out, while in Wednesday’s testimony she had said the head was “moving.”
Gottlieb also pointed out that Luciano testified Wednesday that Kennedy walked quickly to the stairwell, but had in fact told both the police and her doctor that Kennedy was running. Luciano said the discrepancy was due to the fact that she “was emotional with (her) doctor.”
Luciano was also accused by Gottlieb of going to the doctor to see if she could prove any damages.
“I’m not sure what you want me to say,” Luciano said at one point. “How about the truth?” Gottlieb answered.
Gottlieb also said Luciano violated federal law when she accessed Bo Kennedy’s hospital files without authorization twice in the weeks following the incident.
Luciano said she went into the files to find out Kennedy’s address since she had been told the family was not in the Mount Kisco police’s jurisdiction. Luciano said she was disciplined for violating HIPAA and made to sign a corrective action that went into her personnel file.
The trial resumes at 1 p.m. on Thursday, when the defense is expected to call their witnesses.
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