April 10, 2007 / 9:14 PM / 12 years ago

Trial delayed for diapered ex-NASA astronaut

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak’s trial on attempting kidnapping charges has been delayed until September, according to a Florida court order released on Tuesday.

Former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak makes her initial appearance in a courtroom at the Orange County Jail in Florida February 6, 2007. Nowak's trial on attempting kidnapping charges has been delayed until September, according to a Florida court order released on Tuesday. REUTERS/Red Huber/Pool

Nowak, 43, who is accused of stalking and assaulting a romantic rival, had been scheduled to go to trial on July 30. A court signed on Monday by Circuit Judge Marc Lubet said the trial would begin on September 24, so long as the court receives a written waiver of a speedy trial from Nowak’s attorney by Friday.

Nowak’s lawyer, acting on her behalf, has agreed orally to the delay.

In the same document, Lubet also ordered sealed in the court records any psychological evaluations made of Nowak that may be filed and any notice filed by her lawyer that he intends to use insanity as a defence.

The judge also rescinded a gag order he placed last week on the public release of evidence, materials and documents in the case. His order was included in a batch of documents released by the prosecutors, including photographs of evidence seized by police and a report of information obtained from Nowak’s portable computer devices.

Nowak was arrested February 5 after allegedly stalking and attacking Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman at Orlando International Airport. Both Shipman and Nowak had affairs with NASA astronaut Bill Oefelein, according to evidence previously filed in the case.

The newly released photos include pictures of the diapers Nowak wore in order to avoid bathroom stops on her 950-mile (1,530-km) race from Houston to Orlando to meet Shipman’s plane.

It also included photos of the wig, gun, knife, rubber tubing and other weapons and disguises police found in her possession when she was arrested. Also released were copies of maps and lists Nowak allegedly made in planning her assault.

A police report on a search of three portable computer devices noted approximately 15 photos and drawings of an unidentified woman in bondage in various states of dress and undress. The detective concluded in the report that the computers contained no direct evidence related to the planning or execution of a crime.

In addition to attempted kidnapping, Nowak faces charges of burglary with assault and misdemeanour battery.

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