A young woman who alleges Rep. Tony Cardenas drugged and fondled her as a teen in 2007, when Cardenas was a Los Angeles councilman, filed court papers Thursday in support of her request that her lawyer be present and cameras rolling when she undergoes a mental examination by a psychiatrist picked by the defense.
The Los Angeles Superior Court papers submitted by Jane Doe include a declaration by psychologist Anthony Urquiza, who conducted his own evaluation of the plaintiff earlier this month. He states had Doe not had her lawyer present, it is “highly likely” that she would have suffered severe anxiety.
“I am aware that California Superior Court judges retain the discretion to allow counsel’s presence at (independent medical exams) in exceptional cases,” Urquiza states.
He said that based on his examination of Doe and his review of her deposition transcript, “this case involves such an exceptional case.”
“Specifically, Ms. Doe suffers from a severe form of post-traumatic stress disorder that leads her to become extremely anxious in a situation where she could be alone with an unfamiliar man,” Uriquiza says.
Doe is unable to be alone in a taxi or car driven by an Uber or Lyft driver without feeling traumatized, according to Uriquiza.
Uriquiza also says it would be proper to have the examination with Dr. Saul Faerstein on video so that Doe’s facial expressions and body language can be seen to capture “a fuller clinical picture of her condition.”
Doe’s attorneys consented to the examination by Faerstein, but Cardenas’ lawyers have balked at Doe’s requests.
“Your addition of requirements for video recording and the presence of counsel during the mental exam are inconsistent with the code and are rejected,” Cardnenas attorney Joel Klevens wrote in a March 15 email to Doe’s lawyers.
The plaintiff’s lawyers are now asking a judge to break the impasse.
Meanwhile, Uriquiza states in his declaration that with the proper parameters in place, Doe’s anxiety levels will be reduced and she will be better able to interact with the mental health examiner, Uriquiza says.
The suit was filed in April 2018. Doe’s court papers describe her as a “rising star” in amateur golf at the time and said she was dubbed “the next great Latina golfer” with comparisons to Nancy Lopez and Lorena Ochoa.
Cardenas often drove her to golf outings and at least twice took her to speaking events at Balboa Park and one other Los Angeles venue, the woman’s attorneys state in their court papers. Cardenas asked the woman to stay by his side as he spoke with constituents and attendees, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ court papers.
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