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Psychiatric rape suspect found incompetent — again
May 01, 2014, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

Ronald O’Brien

Less than a month after state mental hospital staff declared a longtime psychiatric patient fit to stand trial for allegedly raping a fellow county hospital resident he is on his way back to the locked facility.

Since his return to San Mateo County in early April, Ronald Sunwo O’Brien, 31, has refused to come to court to hear if his defense attorney planned on challenging Atascadero State Hospital’s conclusion he is mentally competent. On Wednesday, he was again absent after being “not fit for court” and Judge Cliff Cretan declared O’Brien again incompetent based on a local doctor’s report, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

O’Brien was ordered back to Atascadero.

O’Brien has bounced in and out of mental facilities after prior arrests and twice not counting this latest order following his arrest for the alleged March 30, 2010, sexual assault at the county’s public hospital. Sometime in the early hours, he allegedly entered the hospital room of a 23-year-old female patient, held her down on the bed with a hand over her mouth and sexually assaulted her multiple times. Minutes later, O’Brien allegedly returned with a piece of paper on which he’d drawn a pair of lips with a finger over them to essentially tell her to stay quiet. The following morning, the woman reported the alleged assault and police were contacted.

The following month, O’Brien was also charged with punching a correctional officer in the head for trying to take away his meal tray because he was smashing food into the cell floor.

O’Brien’s alleged attack at the San Mateo Medical Center prompted its own internal investigation and safety recommendations.

 

 

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