The attorney representing Dr. Andrew Bourne said Thursday that emails police say implicate his client in a child sex scandal “seem to be innocuous.”
Ron Bamieh, the attorney, also said he had “concerns about the police investigation.”
“I have yet to see any statement from the alleged victim that would implicate my client,” he said. “They claim they have … thousands of pages of emails, but I have only seen the first two or three pages. My reading is the emails seem innocuous. I’ve seen nothing in the report to justify the charges so far.”
He added that just because Bourne and Joseph Walker were friends, that was not enough to implicate Bourne.
Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley said this week that more charges against Walker and/or Bourne are forthcoming.
“We expect to amend this complaint and add additional charges,” she said. “The investigation is ongoing, therefore we can not discuss those additional charges at this time.”
Bourne and Walker were due in court for a scheduling hearing Jan. 19. A preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Jan. 25 was postponed.
The next court date for Bourne is Feb. 10, according to Bamieh.
“We met (on Jan. 19) to discuss when we would expect to get discovery from the District Attorney’s office,” Bamieh said.
The Feb. 10 date is tentative.
“Anything could come up,” Bamieh said. “There could be inadmissible statements, there could be confessions I don’t know about… anything.”
Bourne and Walker were arrested Jan. 4 by Santa Barbara police.
The Santa Barbara District Attorney has charged the men with several counts of “unlawful contact with a child with the intent to commit a sexual crime.”
Walker was also charged with a “lewd act upon a minor”.
The alleged victim is a resident of Santa Barbara County and is now 16 years old. The arrests were made in coordination with local law enforcement after a months-long investigation was triggered when a parent of the alleged victim discovered “suspicious” emails between the minor and the two men.
The two men each posted $750,000 bail last week and were released. They are required by the conditions of that bail to be electronically monitored, to stay out of Santa Barbara County, and to avoid contact with the alleged victim and “non-related” minors.
Meanwhile, Bourne’s contract with Mammoth Hospital was terminated, according to a hospital spokeswoman.