Molestation suspect deemed competent

2013-01-18T11:26:00Z 2013-01-18T11:43:16Z Molestation suspect deemed competentBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 18, 2013 11:26 am  • 

After spending approximately seven months in the jail's restoration-to-competency program, a Tucson man accused of molesting a little girl at a fastfood restaurant has been deemed competent.

In fact, Ivan Smythe might be entering a plea agreement on Feb. 20.

In November 2011, Tucson police Detective Gabriel Rivera testified a surveillance tape from the restaurant shows a 7-year-old girl with cognitive delays reaching for lids at the restaurant's soda dispenser and Smythe putting his hands around her waist and helping her.

Ten minutes later, the girl returned to get another drink, Smythe put his cup down, grabbed the girl's hand and motioned toward the lids, Rivera said.

Rivera testified Smythe then lifted the girl, who was wearing shorts and a tank top, up to the counter. He then looked around and inappropriately touched her under her shorts, Rivera said.

The girl squirmed away and ran to her mother, crying a Spanish slang word for her privates, Rivera said.

Witnesses heard Smythe say he didn't mean to touch the girl, but he ran when told the police were being called.

Last May, doctors said Smythe didn't understand how the criminal justice system works and couldn't assist his attorney in mounting a defense. He was put in the restoration program, which is designed to help educate people on the system and stabilize whatever mental health issues they may have, often with medication.

Smythe's defense attorney, Joel Feinman, indicates in court documents doctors at La Frontera have said in the past that Smythe is psychotic and a doctor who has seen Smythe since his arrest believes he has a delusional disorder, possibly paranoid schizophrenia.

Last week Judge Deborah Bernini ruled Smythe competent and said the case can proceed.

 

 

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