Because prosecutors moved too slowly in re-trying a former Johns Hopkins doctor and her spouse, an Army major, who were accused of conspiracy case tied to Russia, the charges must be dismissed, a judge said Thursday.

In an opinion issued May 23, U.S. District Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher said the case was “highly unusual,” prosecutors violated the couple’s right to a speedy trial.

Prosecutors “displayed a serious pattern of neglect of its speedy trial obligations during the six months between November 2023 and May 2024,” she wrote.

Anna Gabrielian, a former anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins, and Jamie Lee Henry, a doctor who had been stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, were facing charges they obtained and disclosed private health information to help Russia.

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According to the filing, this was first case in which the U.S. has charged a pair for a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) felony violation in this particular way, alleging the physicians’ intent to cause “malicious harm.”

Remaining allegations said the two produced health records in an effort to find favor with the Russian government to provide unspecified future assistance for “personal gain,” not for money or proprietary means.

Their first trial of the Rockville couple ended in a mistrial, because the jury could not reach a verdict.

Gallagher concluded that government failed to present sufficient evidence against the physicians to support the claim, during the first trial.

“While this case is highly unusual in its charges, its facts, and the degree of public interest it has engendered, it remains subject to the same constitutional and statutory provisions that govern every criminal prosecution in this country,” Gallagher wrote, citing the right to a speedy and public trial based in the Sixth Amendment.

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The physicians made in-court appearances during a status hearing on May 6. By then, the allotted making for a speedy trial had expired.

The opinion also says prosecutors used their authority under the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) to deny the physicians a speedy trial and “ended in consequential prejudice to both.”

Six months had passed after the court’s retrial period, documents show. The government’s “radio silence” resulted in the case not advancing further.

Though the initial charges consisted only of HIPAA and HIPAA conspiracy violations, the physicians did not avail themselves to be tried for CIPA proceedings due to their “time-consuming nature” and what would have required their attorneys to obtain security clearances to handle the case, according to court filings.

The two took a chance with a more expedited schedule and agreed to work with government-appointed counsel.

Gallagher said that a separate order will be issued that dismisses the charges with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought refiled.