Mental Observation Hearing Continues As Psychologist Says Defendant Competent to Stand Trial

DC Superior Court Judge Milton Lee continued a mental observation hearing for a sex abuse case. 

The 61-year-old defendant is charged with four counts of first-degree sex abuse while armed, two counts of third-degree sex abuse, and burglary one while armed in connection to two 2019 incidents on the 1600 block of Irving Street, NW. 

He is currently being held at St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington D.C.’s psychiatric hospital. 

During the July 29 hearing, a forensic psychologist testified to the competency of the defendant.

“[The defendant] is competent to stand trial,” the forensic psychologist said. 

According to the psychologist, the defendant can advocate for himself, meaning he has the ability to rationally communicate with his attorneys. The defendant is also able to apply legal concepts to hypothetical situations. 

“He demonstrated he understood the concepts and could discuss them,” the psychologist said. 

The psychologist interviewed the defendant and said he relied on progress notes written by the defendant’s doctors at St. Elizabeths. 

During the cross examination, defense attorney, Mani Golzari, presented an email, which was sent to the psychologist and then forwarded to the defendant’s doctors at St. Elizabeths, that characterized the defendant as a “serial rapist.” 

Golzari said that the progress notes were not accurate because they were biased because of the email.  He said the progress notes are “only reliable as they are accurate.” 

During cross, Golzari pointed out times when the defendant was factually inaccurate during their discussion. 

According to the psychologist’s notes and report, the defendant did not know the concept of competency and the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. The forensic psychologist could not point to a specific note where the defendant showed understanding of the severity of charges or sentencing. 

Golzari also pointed out discrepancies between the psychologist’s report, notes, and earlier testimony. 

The hearing is tentatively set to continue on Aug 2.