Sex Offender Set Free in Utah

A judge in Utah ordered a convincted sex offender, facing nearly two dozen of charges against rape, child sexual assault and sodomy to be released from the state hospital because of his mental incompetency to go through trial.

Fourth district Judge James Taylor said he has no legal grounds for holding Lorrie Hyrum Johnson, 38, at a hearing on Thursday. He said the constitution prohibits him from holding a person who cannot defend themselves.

However, the mother of the the alleged victim said Johnson is only faking his mental illness to avoid trial.

Johnson has been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Doctors who assessed Johnson’s condition discovered that his mental competence could not be restored and said that he does not pose any danger to the society. They also said he does not qualify involuntary institutional commitment.

The prosecutors wanted the alleged sex offender to stay at the Utah State Hospital so he could defend himself from the complaints filed against him. However, they did not object the ruling of the judge.

21 sex assault charges were charged to him in 2007. Taylor deemed Johnson incompetent to stand trial on 2008. Under the law of Utah, the defendant fits that decision if he has or is undergoing mental illness.

A lot of professional people reacted against the verdict that he be set free. However, Taylor did not dismiss Johnson’s case. He ordered him to see new psychiatric evaluators in October. A hearing will be resumed on Nov. 17 to check with the recent psychiatric findings.

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