Jennifer Bier is the civilian rape counselor who refused to turn over her records pertaining to an accuser in an Air Force rape case, despite being ordered to do so by a military judge. Military prosecutors then obtained a warrant for her arrest. Ms. Bier appealed to the federal court in Denver to prevent the feds from arresting her. Instead, the Court upheld the arrest warrant.
In denying to grant Bier’s request for an injunction barring federal authorities from arresting her, U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham said the defendant’s right to a fair trial trumps Bier’s claim of patient confidentiality. Victims “may limit what they communicate if they know it might be disclosed to a judge,” Nottingham said. But privilege “gives way to a defendant’s right of confrontation under the Constitution.” ….Nottingham said it wasn’t the proper role of the federal court to interfere in the case, because there are remedies available to Bier within the military justice system.
The records sought from Bier only were going to be seen by the Judge. Not the prosecution or the defense. Biers will continue to fight the order, and her attorney, said she will appeal.
Her attorney is Wendy Murphy, a fixture on cable news shows and now a CBS legal analyst, in the mold of Nancy Grace, always taking the side of the prosecution and excoriating the defendant.
Bier was still free Tuesday afternoon, returning to Colorado after appearing with Murphy, a legal analyst for CBS, on CBS’s and ABC’s morning TV shows. Bier said she has made arrangements to reassign her clients to other therapists in case she’s taken into custody. “Depending on how long Wendy anticipates I would remain in jail, this could effectively shut my practice down,â€? Bier said.