Judge Continues Hearing after Defendant Leaves

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A DC Superior Court judge continued a mental observation hearing in a sex abuse case after the defendant left the hearing and refused to return. 

The defendant is charged with misdemeanor sex abuse, attempted misdemeanor sex abuse, simple assault and unlawful entry. He is accused of making unwanted sexual contact with three victims, one of whom he also allegedly assaulted, and trying to make unwanted sexual contact with a fourth victim. This is alleged to have happened on Nov. 27, 2020. 

“I don’t need no mental health test, I know what I’m doing,” the defendant told Judge Steven M. Wellner

Later, defense attorney Stephen Logerfo appeared to have connection problems. As the hearing paused to resolve the issue, the defendant went back to his cell and didn’t comply with requests to return. 

Judge Wellner then said he was “reluctant to do too much in his absence.” 

The Feb. 1 hearing had been scheduled to discuss the defendant’s mental competency to stand trial. Defense counsel requested a forensic screening to assess this last month, and the court ordered one. The subsequent report indicated that the evaluators were not able to conduct the competency exam.

At the evaluator’s request, Judge Wellner ordered another screening. He also scheduled the hearing to pick back up on Feb. 19.

Judge Wellner said that he doesn’t assume that the defendant’s “not wanting to come back has anything to do with his competency.” 

The defendant is also on probation for simple assault in a 2019 case. That case was continued for another show cause hearing on the 19th, so that it can trail the more recent case.

Brennan Fiske wrote this article.

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