Thursday, October 25, 2007

Violent ex-con guilty of rape found fit to stand trial

Violent ex-con guilty of rape found fit to stand trial
Thursday, October 25th 2007, 4:00 AM

A violent ex-con accused of raping and torturing a Columbia University graduate student was declared mentally fit to stand trial Wednesday.

Robert Williams, 30, was examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist as well as one picked by his own attorney; both reached the same conclusion.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Prunty said Williams was found to be "coherent, responsive and alert."

Although defense attorney Arnold Levine said Williams refuses to talk to him and is "quite disruptive," he would not dispute the psychiatrists' findings.

While in Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, Williams wore security mitts to prevent him from making a fist, and his legs and hands were shackled.

He was ordered to return to court on Nov. 28, when Prunty is expected to submit DNA evidence linking Williams to the sadistic April 13 attack.

Williams followed the 23-year-old victim to her Morningside Heights apartment, where he sexually assaulted her, slashed her eyelids and burned her with scalding water and bleach, police said.

Barbara Ross and Bill Hutchinson

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