AG Todd Rokita has Dr. Damaged Caitlin Bernard’s reputation
An Indiana judge has determined that the Attorney General death Rokita (R) did “irreparable damage” to the reputation of a doctor who aborted a 10-year-old rape victim, but both sides claim victory after the judge denied the doctor’s request for a restraining order.
The judgment of Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Walchissued late Friday, Dr. Caitlin Bernards request for an injunction preventing Rokita from using what Bernard called “frivolous” consumer complaints against her. Rokita has been relentless in his criticism of Bernard since July, when the Indianapolis Star published a story in which the doctor said she aborted a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim who had to come to Indiana for treatment due to her home state’s restrictive laws.
The judge found that Bernard’s application, which was also filed on behalf of Bernard’s medical partner Amy Caldwellwas moot because Rokita filed an administrative complaint with the state’s medical licensing board on Wednesday.
“DR. Bernard has satisfied her burden of proving irreparable harm based on the Attorney General’s public statements regarding an investigation, which Indiana law required to remain confidential until the complaint was filed with the Medical Licensing Board,” Welch wrote in her decision, after finding that Bernard had not successfully demonstrated irreparable damage for other reasons.
Welch noted that Indiana law requires the confidentiality of consumer complaints and information related to consumer complaints until the Attorney General files a notice with the Regulatory Board, noting that Rokita “will not escalate the claims to the Medical Board or the prosecution of dr Bernard had made public statements about the investigation before November 30, 2022.”
“Such disclosures prior to that date were clear violations of Indiana law,” the judge added.
Welch also noted that the law does not bind Bernard, and therefore the doctor did not violate state law when commenting on the investigation. Bernard also did not waive confidentiality by sharing certain details of the case with the Indianapolis Star Reporter.
“[T]The court finds that Dr. Bernard comments on this IndyStar The reporter had no input into the matter from the attorney general’s office, which kept her comments confidential IndyStar Reporters filed complaints with the CPD prior to filing,” Welch wrote. “The Attorney General’s public statements prior to the referral of the matter to the Medical Licensing Board are therefore clearly unlawful violations of the requirement of the Licensing Investigations Act that employees of the Attorney General’s Office maintain silence about pending investigations until the case is referred to the DA.”
Welch noted that while Bernard could not demonstrate “further irreparable harm” per se, the physician’s “concerns about reputational and professional harm resulting from the Attorney General’s statements constitute irreparable harm for the purposes of this request for an injunction.”
In a statement released Friday, Bernard’s attorneys highlighted the judge’s finding that Rokita broke Indiana state law.
“Today Judge Welch ruled that Attorney General Todd Rokita breached his duty of confidentiality under Indiana law and affirmed that there is no basis for the Attorney General to challenge Dr. Bernard’s partner Dr. To identify Amy Caldwell”, attorney Kathleen Delaney said in a statement. “Last week my client and other witnesses gave critical and positive testimony, prompting Mr. Rokita to suddenly move the case to a new forum and take it out of the hands of Judge Welch. We are confident in the records and testimonies we have already developed and look forward to hearing the evidence from Dr. Bernard to the Medical Licensing Board.”
Rokita also declared victory for his part.
“This is a win for the privacy rights of patients in the medical practice and for the proper reporting of child abuse,” Rokita’s office said in a statement Friday. “This case is not really about abortion, despite the best efforts of those with an agenda to make it appear so.”
Read Judge Welch’s order here.
[Image of Rokita via Fox News screengrab. Image of Bernard via MSNBC screengrab.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/indiana-judge-finds-attorney-general-violated-state-law-caused-irreparable-harm-to-doctor-who-cared-for-pregnant-10-year-old-ohio-rape-victim/ AG Todd Rokita has Dr. Damaged Caitlin Bernard’s reputation