Home life of convicted killer promoted deviant behavior, doctor testifies

2013-10-30T10:36:00Z 2013-10-31T18:59:24Z Home life of convicted killer promoted deviant behavior, doctor testifiesPatrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A psychologist who examined convicted murderer Kyle Alegria said the environment Alegria grew up in was fertile ground for the growth of a violent sexual deviant.

“If two parents had set out intentionally to create a child at enormously high-risk of criminal behavior, sexual deviance and a fusion of sex and violence, they could not have done a better job than Margo and Loretto Alegria did,” Dr. Matthew Mendel said, a North Carolina-based psychologist.

Testifying at the mitigation phase of the trial, in which Kyle Alegria was convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and raping seven-year-old Rhia Almeida, Mendel said Alegria had early and frequent exposure to domestic violence, horror movies and pornography.

Mendel described how Alegria began watching pornographic movies at home when he was as young as three-years old. Both his parents, the doctor said, were aware of their son’s growing appetite for pornography.

Alegria also frequently watched violent horror films with his mother, also beginning at a young age.

In addition, Mendel said an older boy in the neighborhood raped Alegria when he was seven- or eight-years old, but Alegria’s parents didn’t do anything about it.

The graphic testimony, in which Mendel recounted his conversations with Alegria, described how Alegria later developed a sexual attraction to his mother and often fantasized about her.

At some point in his young life, Mendel said, images of violence and sex were fused in Alegria’s mind.

“Kyle Alegria’s childhood was a fusion of sex and violence,” Mendel said.

The mitigation phase of the trial continues today in Pima County Superior Court Judge Deborah Bernini’s courtroom.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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