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Abuser's stay at state hospital is extended

Naked burglar threatened a Provo woman with a knife

PROVO — A judge ruled Thursday that a man who broke into a woman's apartment and threatened her with a knife while naked will spend six more months in mental-health treatment at the Utah State Hospital.

Guajaquin Erussard, 23, who was charged with burglary and forcible sex abuse after break-ins at two Provo apartments in July 2004, was sentenced in March on two charges of burglary, and forcible sex abuse — all second-degree felonies.

However, he was able to enter a guilty-and-mentally-ill plea after two court-appointed mental-health experts found he had dependent personality, anxiety and bipolar disorders at the time of the crime, according to court documents.

The unusual and uncommon plea allowed Erussard to serve his sentence in the Utah State Hospital — although, according to facility rules, he can't be held there for more than 18 months

While there, says Gunda Jarvis, Erussard's defense attorney, he will continue to receive treatment that he needs.

Erussard will return to court in April for another hearing. If hospital officials say he's reached the maximum benefit from their facility, Judge Samuel McVey can either place Erussard on probation or impose prison time.

Conviction of a second-degree felony means one to 15 years in prison — but Jarvis said she hoped court officials will take into consideration the time Erussard has spent in the Utah State Hospital.

During a three-day period in July 2004, Erussard entered two different Provo apartments, stole women's underwear and attempted to assault two females.

During one of the incidents, Erussard took off his clothes, grabbed a pillow and a knife and went into the bedroom. According to police reports, he put the pillow over a girl's face and asked her to participate in a sexual act with him.

When the girl screamed and told him to leave, Erussard grabbed his clothes and ran out the front door.

Once outside, according to court documents, he was stopped by two men who asked him what he was doing. Erussard tried to flee, but the men stopped him. The men allowed Erussard to get dressed while waiting for the police.


E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com