Posted Jun 12, 2013 08:22 pm CDT
As a trial proceeds against a Texas physician who is accused of sexually assaulting a patient, the government is focusing on an unusual target—a private attorney who is representing the alleged victim in the case.
At a Tuesday hearing that took place away from the jury hearing the sexual assault case against Dr. Calvin Day, 61, of San Antonio, prosecutors unsuccessfully tried to persuade the judge to replace the alleged victim’s lawyer, Andrew Del Cueto, with a court-appointed attorney, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
The accuser “is being manipulated by Mr. Del Cueto, and that constitutes tampering with a witness,” First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg told Texas District Judge Ron Rangel. “Mr. Del Cueto has done his very best to undermine her credibility to this jury.”
Del Cueto, who wrote in a May 29 letter that he had been retained because his client distrusts prosecutors, called the accusation “preposterous and disingenuous.”
The newspaper article suggests that his client is concerned about potentially facing a civil suit or even criminal prosecution if her statements about the alleged crime are deemed to have been inaccurate.
There is another sexual assault case pending against Day involving a different alleged victim, the article reports, and prosecutors said in court documents that other women have also claimed that improper sexual interactions occurred at the physician’s office.
Attorney Alan Brown represents Day, who he said is innocent.
“A lot of people get falsely accused, and it’s a he-said, she-said situation,” the attorney told KENS, adding: “I think once the jury hears it, he’ll be fine.”
Additional and related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “Disbelieved and accused of making a false rape report, now-vindicated victim sues”
Fox 29: “Heated Exchanges in Doctor Sex Assault Trial”