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Judge: Search Osilek Jr. competent to stand trial

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AFTER carefully considering testimonies and reports, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo found Search Osilek Jr. competent to stand trial

Osilek, 21, is one of the two men accused of sexually assaulting a then 15-year-old student in 2018.

Although psychiatric evaluations conducted by two psychologists concluded that Osilek suffers from a mild intellectual disability, Judge Govendo said the defendant has adequate capacity to understand the criminal proceedings against him.

He noted that Osilek fervently proclaimed his innocence to both psychologists who examined him, and also claimed that the alleged victim lied and that she had a problem.

The judge likewise found the defendant “to have adequate capacity to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding to assist in his defense.”

Osilek insisted during his conversations with the psychologists that he was innocent and that he would not do anything to hurt others, Judge Govendo said. This indicates that the defendant understands the implications of the charges against him, the judge added.

Osilek also confessed to the police then later professed his innocence to the psychologists, the judge said, adding: “[He] appears to understand the possible results from a conviction on the charges against him.”

Moreover, the judge found that Osilek’s mental disorder has no appreciable impact on the nature of the quality of his relationship with his lawyer.

It was Judge Govendo who ordered a psychiatric evaluation for the defendant to determine mental illness, disease or defect at time of offense. The judge wanted to determine if the defendant is competent to stand at trial.

Osilek was represented by attorney David G. Banes and then by attorney Joseph E. Horey while Assistant Attorney General Samantha Vickery represented the government.

From September to October 2019, the court heard testimonies from psychologists and people who knew Osilek.

The government said the testimonies and other evidence presented in the competency hearings established that the defendant’s intellectual disability does not prevent him from standing trial, and that he possesses a rational and factual understanding of the proceedings.

Horey, for his part, argued that witnesses testified consistently that they were unable to make Osilek understand anything without having to explain it to him slowly and in simple language — thus the defendant is not competent to stand trial.

The other defendant is Jeffry Manalang Fernandez, 37. The case against him was dismissed by Judge Joseph N. Camacho in November 2019.

According to court records, Osilek is the victim’s uncle while Manalang is the victim’s stepfather. Both defendants were charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

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