Psychiatrist says homeless man charged with sex assault still mentally unfit for trial

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A doctor at the Hawaii State Hospital says a homeless man accused of sexually assaulting a Mililani restaurant owner is still mentally unfit to stand trial.

Joseph Navas, 45, is charged with robbery, burglary, kidnapping and seven counts of sexual assault. He's accused of attacking a 47-year-old woman in the storage room of her restaurant last May.

Three months ago, a judge put criminal proceedings against Navas on hold, after a court-appointed panel of three mental health experts examined him and determined that he was incapable of assisting in his own defense.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins on Wednesday held a review hearing to see if the defendant's mental status has improved since being committed to the Hawaii State Hospital for treatment. But staff psychiatrist Julie Trinh, M.D., wrote a letter to the court, saying she believes he's still unfit.

Doctors previously diagnosed Navas with disorganized schizophrenia, along with alcohol and drug abuse.

The judge scheduled another review hearing for June 30, 2011.

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