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Monday, June 16, 2014

Nashua judge rules Mass. man faking mental illness, declares him competent for rape trial

NASHUA – A judge agreed with an expert in psychiatry that a 29-year-old Massachusetts man is essentially faking mental illness in an attempt to avoid a trial on multiple sexual assault charges.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple ruled that Frank Moore, of Salem, Mass., is competent to stand trial after a second psychiatrist examined Moore earlier this year. ...

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NASHUA – A judge agreed with an expert in psychiatry that a 29-year-old Massachusetts man is essentially faking mental illness in an attempt to avoid a trial on multiple sexual assault charges.

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Charles Temple ruled that Frank Moore, of Salem, Mass., is competent to stand trial after a second psychiatrist examined Moore earlier this year.

“The court agrees with Dr. (Albert) Drukteinis that the defendant is simply unwilling to assist his attorneys in a calculated attempt to avoid the difficult situation he presently faces in this criminal proceeding,” Temple ruled. “The stark reality is that he understands the proceedings and possesses a present sufficient ability to assist his counsel, but simply wants to avoid the consequences of the legal proceedings.”

Moore has been in jail since being charged in the rape of a 14-year-old girl in a Nashua parking lot nearly a year ago. He was supposed to stand trial in February but that was delayed while court-ordered competency evaluations were completed.

His attorney, public defender Michael Davidow, said the conditions at Valley Street jail in Manchester have caused “unwarranted psychological distress” on Moore and contributed to his competency issues, according to a motion he filed.

The first psychiatrist to
evaluate Moore, Dr. Dennis Becotte, said Moore was not competent to stand trial and should be re-evaluated after six to nine months of treatment. Dr. Albert Drukteinis said Moore is competent to go to trial, according to Temple’s ruling.

Both experts said Moore has a plethora of diagnoses, including borderline personality traits, adjustment disorder and depressive disorder, according to Temple’s ruling.

The psychiatrists agree on much of their diagnoses except when it came to Moore’s ability to satisfactorily consult with his attorneys. Becotte said he could not, and Drukteinis said he could, according to Temple’s motion.

He wrote that what swayed his decision was Becotte’s testimony at a competency hearing that Moore’s disorders are “mild without any evidence of major mental illness.”

“This finding is supported by the fact that these experts agree that the defendant is a manipulative, deceptive, narcissistic and overly dramatic individual,” Temple ruled. “In addition to this, the experts agree that he is not suffering from any psychotic episodes or major mental illness.”

Moore was arrested after Nashua police were called to a city hospital when a 14-year-old girl reported she had been raped around 4 a.m. on July 11.

He has also described himself as a “manipulator, liar and deceptive” and claimed he had a secret stash of money somewhere during jailhouse phone calls, according to Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Catherine Devine.

Moore is facing seven counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, three counts sexual assault and one count of witness tampering, according to court records.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).