June 22, 2010 11:40:00 AM
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for the Columbus doctor who was arrested on charges of sexual battery.
On Friday, Justice Court Judge Peggy Phillips will hear evidence in the case of Dr. Min Sang Kim, an internal medicine specialist at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. Kim was arrested on June 8 after his ex-wife, Un Suk Kim, accused him of sexually assaulting her.
Columbus attorney Carrie Jourdan is now Min Kim''s lead counsel in the case. Jourdan is best known as the attorney for Kennedy Brewer, who was exonerated in 2008 after wrongfully spending nearly 15 years on Death Row for a Noxubee county murder.
Though Min Kim''s previous attorney was David Owen, Jourdan said she came on board in the event Owen becomes a witness. Owen, who has a close friendship with Min Kim in addition to being his personal lawyer, could provide insight about Un Suk Kim''s accusations.
"There''s the potential that Mr. Owen could be a witness," Jourdan said. "In light of that development, Dr. Kim and David thought it would be best to have me as lead counsel."
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to establish probable cause and determine whether the case should be heard by a grand jury. Because Min Kim posted his bond at his initial appearance in front of the judge, the preliminary hearing is not mandatory, but Jourdan requested one anyway because she wants to end the case as soon as possible.
"I would not be requesting the preliminary hearing if I did not have a strong belief that the charges should be dismissed and that ultimately my client is innocent," Jourdan said.
Jourdan said she will not be calling Min Kim as a witness because she believes her evidence is strong enough without him.
In the weeks since the arrest, Owen has called into question the procedures used by the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Office during the investigation and arrest of Min Kim. LCSO Chief Deputy Greg Wright replied that he would not use the press as an alternative to a trial.
"I''m not going to bandy words with a defense attorney in the newspaper," Wright said. "The evidence we have will be presented to the grand jury."
Owen has also complained that the affidavit was signed without a thorough investigation into Un Suk Kim''s claims. Christopher Hemphill, the Justice Court judge who signed the affidavit for Min Kim''s arrest, explained that he doesn''t sign such paperwork at the drop of a hat.
"If someone brings an affidavit, we don''t just automatically sign," Hemphill said. "We do make some inquiries of law enforcement and the investigation that they''ve made as well as the complaint."
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