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Douglas Kennedy Acquitted of Child Endangerment Charges

Posted by attorney Jeremy Geigle

Douglas Kennedy, the second-youngest son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, has been acquitted of child endangerment and physical harassment. Kennedy was accused of endangering his newborn son and assaulting two nurses who tried to stop him from taking the baby outside of the hospital.

On January 7 2012, Kennedy wanted to take his 2-day-old son outside to see the moon, something he had been allowed to do at the same hospital before. When two nurses, Anna Margaret Lane and Cari Luciano tried to stop him from leaving with the child, Kennedy insisted and made his way to the elevator anyways. Luciano claims that Kennedy kicked her, causing her to fall down, when she tried to reach for the child, and Lane says that he twisted her arm. The scuffle was caught on a surveillance tape; the tape hardly supports either of the nurses’ statements. While the tape reveals one woman falling down, it doesn’t support any of the violence claims against Kennedy.

It is now suspected that the nurses were motivated by money and blatantly lied during their testimonies in court. In response to Kennedy leaving with his child, a series of alarms were set off, including a code pink which signals a child abduction; Kennedy’s attorney noted that this was “preposterous" as it was “abundantly apparent that the nurses understood it was not the intent of [Kennedy] to leave the hospital with the child and not return."

A.R.S. 13-2907.02 states that it is illegal for a person to knowingly and intentionally make a false report of child abuse or neglect if that person knows that the report is false. While Kennedy is not pressing charges against the nurses, they may have been convicted of false reporting of child abuse/neglect (a class 1 misdemeanor) if tried in Arizona.

As you can see from the case above, it is common for innocent and law-abiding people to be convicted of crimes they never committed.

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