New Twist In Cadet Sex Scandal

In what her attorney calls an "unprecedented" action, the civilian counselor to one of the victims at the Air Force Academy is being threatened with jail by a military judge for refusing to turn over records of private conversations she had with the victim about the assault.

Over the past several years, nearly 150 women have come forward charging they'd been sexually assaulted or raped by male counterparts at the military school in Colorado Springs, Col.

The scandal led to a major shakeup of top academy leaders.

Now, the military judge overseeing the court-martial of an accused cadet is trying to force a civilian rape counselor to turn over confidential records by issuing a warrant for her arrest.

The counselor, Jennifer Bier, tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith she never dreamed such a subpoena was possible.

"In Colorado," she says, "the protection for therapists and their clients is pretty stellar, so I didn't worry that I would ever be put in a position as being asked to surrender records."

Her initial reaction? "You've got to be kidding me. There were days where I was just kind of walking around, thinking, 'This can't possibly be happening. This is 2005. We're talking about a rape victim here. We're talking about widely accepted standards in the field of practice.' And I just couldn't believe it."

Bier's attorney, Wendy Murphy, who happens to be a CBS News legal analyst, calls the judge's move "basically unprecedented" with respect to commonly accepted standards of privacy in the counseling field.

"Of course, our position is that there is no right to this information, that the court order and the subpoena are invalid and unlawful, which is why Jen is refusing to comply."
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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