MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Northern Westchester Hospital nurses Anna Lane and Cari Luciano underwent intense cross-examination Tuesday on the second day of Douglas Kennedy’s trial at Mount Kisco Justice Court.
The son of the late Robert F. Kennedy has pleaded not guilty to two counts of harassment and misdemeanor endangerment of a child stemming from the Jan. 7 incident in which he decided to take his newborn son, Bo, out of Mount Kisco hospital’s maternity ward for some "fresh air."
Lane and Luciano said they attempted to prevent Kennedy from leaving the unit with the baby, whose head was “bobbing around” as Kennedy tried to go through the door to the stairs. Lane said Kennedy twisted her arm as she held the doorknob to the stairwell, and Luciano said he kicked her in the pelvic area as she reached out toward the baby.
Continuing her testimony from Monday, Lane quoted the hospital’s infant transport policy, which says babies must not be taken off the floor by unauthorized people before discharge.
Authorization means the person has received a written order from the child’s treating pediatrician, and completed several other measures, such as having the child’s electronic ID bracelet removed, she said.
“Are you saying that the father is an unauthorized person?” Kennedy’s lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, said.
Gottlieb said the issue at hand was not whether hospital policy was violated, which was not a crime in itself.
When questioned, both Lane and Luciano admitted there was no policy specifically prohibiting a father from taking his child from the maternity unit for fresh air.
Gottlieb also asked the nurses why they hired a personal injury lawyer, if not to pressure the police to file criminal charges, which would improve their outlook in a lawsuit later on.
When the nurses each became emotional during testimony, Gottlieb asked why, if they were so averse to reliving these painful moments in the courtroom, they went on the "Today Show" in February to talk about the incident.
“I felt that my reputation was being defamed,” Luciano said, “that I had done something that was wrong or horrible. I needed to know I did the right thing.”
Gottlieb also accused Luciano of leaking the video she obtained from hospital security to the media, and focused in on Luciano’s 2002 conviction for driving while impaired, which she disclosed in her initial examination by prosecution. Gottlieb maintained that the arrest was relevant because it spoke to the credibility of the witness.
Also called as a witness Tuesday was maternity nurse Marian Williams.
The trial will resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
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