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Judge finds accused rapist mentally unfit for trial

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:19 p.m. HST, Feb 26, 2014

A state judge dismissed all charges Wednesday morning against a 49-year-old man accused of beating and raping a woman in a Mililani restaurant after determining that the defendant, Joseph Navas, will never be mentally fit to stand trial.

After he dismissed the kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and burglary charges, Circuit Judge Richard Perkins civilly committed Navas to the Hawaii State Hospital after also determining that he poses a risk of harm to himself and others. The dismissal and civil commitment removes any jurisdiction the court has over Navas.

Perkins made his findings based on the reports of three mental health experts he had appointed to examine Navas. He is the second judge to dismiss a criminal case against Navas and civilly commit him to the State Hospital in the past five years.

Another judge dismissed a burglary charge against Navas in November 2008 after also determining that Navas was unlikely to ever be mentally fit to defend himself against the charge and that he posed a risk of harm to himself and others, based on the reports of three other court-appointed mental health experts. Those experts said Navas suffers from schizophrenia, alcohol and drug dependency, delusions, paranoia, auditory and visual hallucinations.

In the restaurant case Honolulu police said Navas entered the Mililani Shopping Center business on May 7, 2010 after it was closed, grabbed the woman and carried her to the back storage area where restrained and sexually assaulted her.

The woman told police Navas slapped her so hard he knocked out one of her teeth. She said Navas gagged her with a towel and repeatedly raped her. She escaped after two hours and ran for help.

Police found Navas in the restaurant with plastic bags he had filled with restaurant merchandise. He was half-dressed and told police he went to the restaurant to buy it. He also told them he was Roger Moore 007, Bruce Lee, former Gov. George Ariyoshi and others.

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control wrote:
what is this guy still doing out on the streets? This is the second time that he has been deemed to be mentally unfit, who the heck let him out of the State Hospital the first time? someone needs to take responsibility for letting the guy out. What about next time if he murders someone?
on February 26,2014 | 11:17AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Did it not occur to the newspaper staff to consider and discuss this point? Sloppy reporting.
on February 26,2014 | 04:13PM
thanks4reading wrote:
Can only speculate in rendering an answer to your questions. Drawing on my crim law courses in law school, since he was not convicted for the first arrest and it was likely not a violent crime, he may or may not have been mentally incarcerated. Now unfit for a violent crime, he should be incarcerated until deemed legally fit at which case he should be tried. If never found fit, he should be locked up indefinitely. The criminal justice system is economically ham stringed. WIth mandatory sentencing laws for drug offenses, in some states violent criminals are let loose to house drug related crimes. One final point, even if convicted on the first crime, he likely would have been released by 2010 (time of the second trial)? Our legal system is not about fairness and justice, it is about rules and procedures. At times, the innocent go to jail, and guilty don't. This is why I would never practice criminal or civil law. Hope this helps....
on February 26,2014 | 08:52PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Why was he out in 2010?
on February 26,2014 | 11:21AM
false wrote:
Go ask Lingle. Her cuts may have help.
on February 26,2014 | 12:36PM
MartyL wrote:
Am I missing something? A judge dismissed burglary charges in 2008 so he will institutionalized and then he is out in 2010 to rape and burglarize?? Seems to me the key needs to be thrown away.
on February 26,2014 | 11:22AM
pcman wrote:
The laws for criminal behavior should be changed to reflect the guilt and danger of a person despite being mentally unfit for trial. The liberal laws reflecting no guilt for criminal activity are obsolete and do not protect potential victims from future crimes. Judges should not be given the authority to determine a criminal mentally unfit for trial because they are easily bribed by relatives and lawyers of criminal defendants.
on February 26,2014 | 11:23AM
RichardCory wrote:
on February 26,2014 | 02:58PM
PokeStop wrote:
Maybe he's related to that clown running havoc on the streets of Manoa! Wow, Honolulu is turning out to be the land of crazies. Navas needs to be taking his Prozac pills behind bars!
on February 26,2014 | 11:29AM
cojef wrote:
Navas is nuttier than a fruitcake. Shame that he was released from the State institution after the 2008 commitment.
on February 26,2014 | 11:37AM
Hilofrank wrote:
So let's keep this guy on the revolving door of what is laughing called our civil commitment process. In a few months, he'll be out on the street on "day" trips. One day he won't return or will commit another sex assault or worse. And he'll have those charges dismissed and he returns to Kaneohe, only to start the same revolving door again. So you liberal progressives, how many more people does he have to victimize before someone decides that he needs to be locked up? Nahhh, according to yo and the Governor, these kinds of people are simply misunderstood and just need to be reasoned with and allowed to experience life. My point, I and no one I know should be part of HIS life experience.
on February 26,2014 | 11:41AM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
He will never be fit to stand trial. This is an example of why we need the death penalty. This guy will always be a danger. Euthanize him. For all you bleeding hearts who cringe at my post, if he ever is released, have him live with you. Oh and take out an insurance policy and guarantee he'll harm no one else or you'll pay for his damages.
on February 26,2014 | 11:42AM
wong1 wrote:
I totally agree!
on February 26,2014 | 11:56AM
shmellycat808 wrote:
I totally agree, too!
on February 26,2014 | 12:08PM
Solara wrote:
Agreed. If he is a danger to himself and others and there is no hope of rehabilitation, why is he out on the streets? Who let him out the first time anyway?! Unfortunately, in this case, I think the death penalty should be utilized.
on February 26,2014 | 01:16PM
aomohoa wrote:
I agree completely too. If he raped my daughter or loved one he would never be on the street again. I would make sure of that.
on February 26,2014 | 01:56PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Totally agree, he should live with you.
on February 26,2014 | 03:10PM
Hilofrank wrote:
He kind of looks like Ariyoshi to me. Silent and defective.
on February 26,2014 | 11:43AM
kekelaward wrote:
That sounds like Lazy Mazie.
on February 26,2014 | 04:16PM
iwanaknow wrote:
I think if his ears had been been pinned back more in his youth by surgery.............all this stuff wouldn't have happened.....ya?
on February 26,2014 | 04:47PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Why didn't the judge in 2008 commit him to the State mental hospital? Who was that judge and why isn't he/she made responsible for the 2010 crime? Judges need to take responsibility for their bad decisions - when there is any risk of future crimes, those people need to be incarcerated.
on February 26,2014 | 11:46AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Mike Wilson committed the guy in 2008. Understand though, if the defendant is unfit to stand trial the judge has to acquit the guy by reason of insanity and the civil commitment is the proper course of action. It was then up to the staff at the Hawaii State Hospital to decide on when the person is able to be released back to the community, but that is a clinical decision, not a judicial decision. The real question than needs to be answered is on what basis was this guy released from the State Hospital, and who, if anyone was responsible for his supervision. Hopefully the SA will dig into the circumstances of this guy's release more because it is a public health and safety issue that impacts on our community.
on February 26,2014 | 12:24PM
false wrote:
Remember the government cuts during the Lingle administration. This is the product of those cuts. LOL
on February 26,2014 | 12:38PM
aomohoa wrote:
This happens everywhere. Get over it! In California, the Liberals freed all the nuts long ago!
on February 26,2014 | 01:58PM
kekelaward wrote:
They need to rewrite the law to specify that if he is released by the state hospital due to a miraculous recovery, he goes directly to Halawa to complete his sentence.
on February 26,2014 | 04:19PM
Skyler wrote:
A voice of reason - thanks.
on February 26,2014 | 05:17PM
alt wrote:
Nice! Dismiss the first burglary charge, then the next bunch of crimes, which include kidnapping and sexual assault. What next? Lock this guy up and throw away the key! Prayers to the person that he terrorized. I'm sure her life will never be the same :(
on February 26,2014 | 11:46AM
sharingan808 wrote:
Judge Perkins needs to be replaced by someone that will make the tough decisions for rights of the State of Hawaii. Unbelievable to say the least. This is just one of many blundered rulings he has made over the decades. You and the 4th Amendment needs to be dumped.
on February 26,2014 | 11:53AM
loio wrote:
Rick Perkins is a good lawyer, a good judge and a good man.
on February 26,2014 | 12:32PM
Rogerk44 wrote:
They should put the judge & him in the same room for 48 hrs. Then will see if he is released to a mental hospital.
on February 26,2014 | 11:56AM
Dawg wrote:
WOW what does it take to send him to a private island of his own? Perkin's whats's up?
on February 26,2014 | 11:59AM
1R1E wrote:
on February 26,2014 | 12:10PM
1R1E wrote:
on February 26,2014 | 12:11PM
ethan wrote:
It's amazing how normal looking people can be insane. What did the state not see in this guy to just let him out on the streets.
on February 26,2014 | 12:46PM
kekelaward wrote:
I know what you mean. I was just down at the big square building on Punchbowl and there were a lot of normal looking people there.
on February 26,2014 | 04:23PM
bpet wrote:
Sounds like there is something seriously askew with the system . . .lock him up, chemically castrate him and throw away the key. As he is, he probably is not even safe to have around the employees of the state facility.
on February 26,2014 | 01:09PM
nitpikker wrote:
chemcally? whats wrong with physically castrate him?
on February 26,2014 | 03:42PM
kekelaward wrote:
I always appreciate when someone is able to work the word "askew" into a post.
on February 26,2014 | 04:25PM
Mr_Ton wrote:
This is why we need capital punishment. And to stop giving crazy people an out. It's ridiculous- just look at him...he looks like an insane criminal. How many people does he have to hurt till something is actually done?
on February 26,2014 | 01:10PM
kekelaward wrote:
I think your answer is somewhere in the teens. But I may be being optimistic
on February 26,2014 | 04:27PM
warrenkim wrote:
1. It's more complicated. Can a person be guilty of something when he has no capacity to judge: aka someone commits a crime while sleep walking? 2. Are we as a society willing to punish or kill someone who has no capacity to know what he did, and why he is being punished? 3. Perhaps he was let our early because his only crime was burglary, but now I doubt he will be let go so easily. 4. Are we a vengeful society who is willing to pay for expensive prisons, or do we kill them. Do we only kill the crazy and dumb criminals who leave behind an obvious evidence. How about the other people who kill and maim by unsafe products and chemicals? How do we decide who is to live or die. 5. Just saying it is complicated.
on February 26,2014 | 01:32PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
You bring up some good points. IMO, I would base it on the danger you represent to others, regardless of whether you understand your crimes or not. You keep them isolated from society for as long as it takes. The real dilemna is if they really recover to a point where they now "understand" right from wrong. Do they get released at that point? Or does "punishment" now come into play, even if they were incapable of discerning right from wrong at the time of the crime (or using your example, sleepwalking.)
on February 26,2014 | 02:10PM
warrenkim wrote:
A requirement of most criminal law is the state of mind. Unless you want to rewrite juris prudence, he should not be punished. However, I agree he should be locked up and kept away from people as he is clearly DANGEROUS. The problem is if he gets well through medication, do you release him and hope he will take his medication.
on February 26,2014 | 02:20PM
Skyler wrote:
If you're going to let these guys out on the street, even though they're bonkers - you're going to have to implant a time-release medicine module where he can't cut it out. Then & only then will it be 'safe' to let him out. Otherwise, the rest of society has to deal with his insanity.
on February 26,2014 | 05:25PM
aomohoa wrote:
So, how long will be be in a mental institute before they let him out to rape again??
on February 26,2014 | 01:54PM
BlueDolphin53 wrote:
Can't blame the judge on this one. You cannot make law from the bench and he clearly FOLLOWED the law as he should have. Let's face it, this guy is the picture boy for criminally insane. Why and when he gets released from the hospital is the issue.
on February 26,2014 | 02:05PM
Anonymous wrote:
Arrested for burglary in 2008, Judge drops the criminal charges saying he would never be fit to stand trial, and commits him to the Hawaii State Hospital....less than two years later in 2010, he is released back into society where he moves into violent crime, beating and repeatedly raping a woman in a restaurant...Judge drops the criminal charges saying he would never be fit to stand trial, and commits him to the Hawaii State Hospital...because of the "catch and release" way the Hawaii judicial system works, this guy was quickly turned loose, and his crimes became more violent.....he should now be locked up and never released again,...if he is released again, he may kill himself, or even worse, some innocent person....
on February 26,2014 | 02:18PM
mineeyes wrote:
Keel him!
on February 26,2014 | 02:22PM
GoldenRule wrote:
Miss the old ways Justice was meted out during the Wild West days.
on February 26,2014 | 02:35PM
entrkn wrote:
I wonder if Judge Perkins would be willing to share a room with Mr Navas? The Hawaii State Hospital has already been victimized by sentences like this to other dangerous criminals like Nava to a point where a lot of Hospital employees have been attacked and badly injured and have left. I believe that the laws need to be adjusted to only send persons who can actually be helped to the State Hospital. Those law breakers who "will never be mentally fit to stand trial" should be warehoused in a penitentiary where they are better equipped to handle threats and outbreaks of violence.
on February 26,2014 | 02:59PM
HD36 wrote:
So now he's a ward of the state and a burden to tax payers for the rest of his life. Free medical, housing, food, etc.. The compassionate thing would be to put this poor soul out of his misery.
on February 26,2014 | 03:00PM
DAGR81 wrote:
I am curious about what the facilities at a mental institution are like. How are the employees and other patients protective from this person? What prevents him from escaping and being a danger to the community? Would it be more appropriate to imprison him so that he will not be a danger to the general community?
on February 26,2014 | 04:42PM
Skyler wrote:
Why dismiss the charges? Surely they need to revamp Hawaii's Judicial system. Throwing the perp into a mental ward where the staff is already stressed is beyond pupule... makes me wonder who is actually the mental one.
on February 26,2014 | 05:14PM
2NDC wrote:
Scary looking buggah. With any luck he'll stay institutionalized this time around. :-(
on February 26,2014 | 06:26PM
Hawaii5OhOh wrote:
When Catch and Release doesn't work, you revert to the old ways of Open Season on people like Joe Navas and Yama Fazzaris (the Manoa terrorist). That way, you don't get frustrated about the system, but when you turn these two guy's faces into gelatin, please don't do it in front of security cameras. Also, turn off your cell phones, and don't take pictures of what you did, or post videos on UTube about it. So far, both these guys have been very lucky, as their victims were far from help from their friends and family. It's just a matter of time when they wander into a place where they will not get away with it, and then, they will be dealt with very severely. I have seen Joe Navas walking around downtown before, and you never forget a face like that. When he looks at you, he stares with evil intent just like the photo in the newspaper. When I saw him walking near me, I stepped away from the curb while waiting for the traffic light to change. I didn't want him in back of me where he could push me out in traffic and get run over by a bus. I always wondered why he was in the Millilani area when he attacked and raped the owner of her restaurant? Was he living in a half-way house in the area for crazy people? The Dept of Health likes to put houses like these in the community.
on February 26,2014 | 06:45PM
808warriorfan wrote:
For a guy who is "mentally unfit" he sure knows about sex.....
on February 26,2014 | 06:48PM
2NDC wrote:
So do wild animals. This dude is basically a walking hormone and will act like an animal if allowed to roam free. He should be treated as such and locked up until he's cured and fit to stand trial for his crimes.
on February 26,2014 | 07:06PM
glick wrote:
Think about the poor victim. She has seems to receive no compensation for all the trauma she had to go through. And this creep gets all the charges dismissed? Not fair! Something terribly wrong with the system obviously.
on February 26,2014 | 08:33PM
jojobear wrote:
Let me get this straight, as long as you say you're the governor you can get away with rape, what the hell is wrong with this judge, is he related to this rapists, who really cares if he is insane, just lock him up at OCCC and throw away the key, just remember this is the second time he was convicted of this crime.
on February 28,2014 | 02:04PM
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