After weeks of fighting with the stubborn defendant, 3rd District Judge Michael Murphy has set a new trial date for Bojidar Bakalov.
The Bulgarian doctor who came to University Hospital in 1991 will stand trial Sept. 20 on a charge that he raped a Salt Lake woman later that year. He was convicted of the charge during his first trial, but the Utah Supreme Court later overturned it because he hadn't been allowed to represent himself.Ironically, once he was granted a new trial Bakalov said he wanted an attorney. But he has alienated several court-appointed attorneys and repeatedly says he doesn't want an attorney from the "Utah legal community mafia."
But Murphy told him he must either allow his current attorney, Joseph Fratto, to run his defense or represent himself. After determining Bakalov wants to represent himself, the judge asked him a series of questions to make a legal determination that Bakalov understands what rights he is giving up.
The 40-year-old thoracic surgeon dodged the judge's questions during two hearings, and he was sent back to jail until he agreed to answer. Last week, he finally did. Bakalov will represent himself, with Fratto as "stand-by counsel" to answer his legal questions.
Prosecutor James Cope said Bakalov was not happy about waiting until September to go to trial, but the judge said if he hadn't taken so long to answer the questions, he may have been able to accommodate an earlier date.
Murphy also set a July 8 hearing to address dozens of unusual motions Bakalov has filed, including motions to have Cope jailed and a motion to have his former attorneys, Cope and the victim take polygraph tests.
Bakalov said he had consensual sex with the woman who was typing papers for him, but the alleged victim said Bakalov raped her twice and taunted her and her religious beliefs when she prayed out loud for help.