A son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy has been acquitted on all counts in a trial stemming from a clash at a hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y., in January.
Douglas Kennedy never took the stand at the trial in which he faced child endangerment and physical harassment charges after a scuffle on the maternity floor of Northern Westchester Hospital. Kennedy was arrested after an altercation with nurses as he tried to remove his newborn from the maternity ward.
"The Court is not determining whether the defendant's behavior was wise or prudent but only whether the facts and the evidence support a finding that the defendant is guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt," Mount Kisco Town Justice John J. Donohue wrote in his opinion.
Kennedy was accused of kicking one nurse and twisting the arm of another as they tried to prevent him from taking his newborn son, Anthony, outside.
The nurses claim Kennedy was violating hospital policy. But a doctor testified that Kennedy had permission to take the baby.
The judge sided with the defense, noting in his opinion that "It was clear that the defendant was going outside the hospital on an unseasonably warm winter evening for a short period and then returning with the child."
Donohue also wrote that the nurses placed themselves in Kennedy's way to stop him from leaving the maternity floor with the newborn and at one point tried to remove the child from his arms.
The judge agreed with the defense that any contact between Kennedy and the nurse was "spontaneous response... to prevent her from removing the baby from his arms."
U.S. & World
Elliot Taub, the attorney for Anna Margaret and Cari Maleman Luciano, the nurses who scuffled with Kennedy, said his clients were disappointed with verdict but that it wouldn't impact whether they would proceed with a civil case against Kennedy.