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Judge finds accused rapist mentally unfit for trial

    Joseph Navas appears in court in this October 2010 photo.

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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