Man Fantasized About Assault, Expert Says — (The Courant)

SSRI Ed note: Man who fantasizes about sexually assaulting women takes Lithium, Prozac, Depoprovera, finally acts on his urge, debate over his ability to control actions.

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The Courant

October 05, 1995

By KATHRYN KRANHOLD; Courant Staff Writer

MIDDLETOWN — An East Haddam man fantasized for three years about sexually assaulting women — more specifically, a jogger — before he did so in July 1993 in his hometown, a psychiatrist said Wednesday.

Dr. Donald Grayson, a West Hartford psychiatrist, testified that Scott Williams had gone from thinking about exhibiting himself and sexually assaulting a woman, to acting on his urge in a July 19, 1993, attack on a jogger.

“I see this as a progressive condition,” he told Superior Court Judge Thomas Miano, who is hearing the case.

Grayson diagnosed Williams as having three different mental disorders: schizoaffective disorder, exhibitionist and paraphilias, which comprises several types of sexual deviant behavior.

Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy J. Liston hired Grayson to examine Williams, a longtime East Haddam resident whose family once owned the Gelston House restaurant, after the defendant indicated that he intended to rely on the insanity defense in connection with his criminal charges.

Williams, 41, is charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault in the 1993 assault. He is accused of tackling a woman on Route 151 in East Haddam, pulling off her clothing and performing oral sex on her.

Williams has admitted to sexually assaulting the woman. His attorney, Averum J. Sprecher, claims he did so because of a mental illness.

To succeed with the insanity defense, Sprecher must show that Williams’ mental illness prevented him from controlling his actions within the law or from appreciating the wrongfulness of his actions.

Wednesday, Sprecher called Grayson to the stand; Liston did not call the psychiatrist despite having hired him.

Starting with Williams’ childhood, Grayson outlined the defendant’s years of mental problems. Grayson said that Williams was a bedwetter until he was 22 and had sucked his thumb until he was 18. He said that Williams had been afraid of and “disgusted” by dogs.

During his teenage years, Williams worked off and on for his father at the Gelston House, but had constant battles with his father. Williams told Grayson that he also had problems with his mother, whom he described as “half-crazy.”

For several years, Williams, the oldest of four children, had nightmares that his father murdered his mother, and that he was the one to discover his mother’s body, Grayson said.

More recently, Grayson said that Williams had burned his penis and testicles with a cigar while in prison to punish himself for attacking the woman in East Haddam.

Grayson said that Williams had been in and out of psychiatric institutions, including Connecticut Valley Hospital and The Institute of Living, for more than 20 years. He said that Williams was also on a wide range of medications including Lithium, Prozac and Depoprovera, which is supposed to decrease a person’s sex drive.

Williams was off Depoprovera from January through July 7, 1993, but was placed back on the medication 10 days before the attack. Grayson said he did not know whether the medication had time to kick in again. Grayson testified that Williams’s mental illness prevented him from controlling his urge to assault the woman.

Under cross-examination, Liston showed that Williams had controlled his urge to attack women for years.

Liston went through years of psychiatric reports with Grayson, highlighting counseling sessions in which Williams told his therapist that he fantasized about sexually attacking a woman but had not done so.

Liston asked Grayson whether Williams was able to control his urges during those years. Grayson answered yes.

The trial is scheduled to continue today.