Many of you know my story some may not.
The man who molested me when I was ten has the right to petition for freedom every two years by New York State law. He currently resides in a maximum security facility and is again taking steps to be moved to something more comfortable.
I post each news piece in hopes that other survivors who may do internet searches on Albert Fentress will find their way here so they too can begin their journey to becoming the person they were meant to be.
When interviewed for this article, I asked them to mention the MaleSurvivor website and talked about everything we do here and the resources we offer. I was assured they would, however, I don’t see it in the online version… perhaps it made it into the print version. Fentress requests less-strict confinement
By Larry Fisher-HertzPoughkeepsie Journal
Monday, April 3, 2006
Confessed killer and cannibal Albert Fentress will be back in court this spring, asking a judge to release him from a locked ward in an Orange County mental hospital.
Before the former Poughkeepsie school teacher can make the request, his lawyers will try to convince the judge in charge of the case to recuse himself.
Fentress, 65, has been confined to various mental institutions since 1980, when he was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial for the August 1979 murder and sexual mutilation of Town of Poughkeepsie teen Paul Masters.
Fentress was sent to the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center in Orange, then moved to the less-secure Kings Park Psychiatric Center on Long Island in 1985. In 2002, during a court hearing in which he was seeking to be released from that facility, two former Dutchess County men testified Fentress molested them when they were children in spring 1979 — a few months before Fentress killed and cannibalized Masters.
State Supreme Court Judge James Catterson immediately ordered Fentress returned to the secure facility in Orange. The judge ruled Fentress needed more intensive treatment because he failed to disclose the incidents involving the two boys during his years of therapy.Victim may testify again
One of the men who testified at the 2002 court proceeding, Westchester County resident Curtis St. John, said he was prepared to speak again this spring if asked by prosecutors to do so.
"They have my testimony from last time, and I'm ready to do it again at any time," St. John said last week.
He said he had no direct knowledge Fentress had molested anyone other than him and the other man who testified in 2002. But he said he would not be surprised if there were other victims.
"I'm not in a position to speculate about Mr. Fentress in particular," he said, "but statistically speaking, sex offenders almost always have multiple victims."
In documents filed last week, lawyers for Mental Hygiene Legal Services petitioned the court to send Fentress to a less-secure facility — and they asked Catterson to consider transferring the case to a judge in Orange.
According to the documents, Fentress' lawyers contend it would be a hardship for Fentress to remain shackled while he is transported to Catterson's courtroom in the Suffolk County Court Annex in Riverhead. And they argued that because Fentress' doctors and counselors are based at the Orange hospital, it would also be more convenient for them to testify before an Orange judge.
Contacted last week, Mental Hygiene Legal Services attorney Lisa Volpe, who filed the court papers for Fentress, declined to comment further on the case.
"No date has even been set for a further court proceeding, so I'd prefer not to comment at this time," Volpe said.
Last week, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady, who has retained jurisdiction in the case, said he believed Fentress belonged in the secure facility — and he said he would oppose Fentress' motion to remove Catterson from overseeing the case.
"We would oppose any motion to move Mr. Fentress to a less-secure facility," Grady said. "He should always have been there — he should never have been moved (to the Long Island facilities)."
Grady said he did not believe there was any need to transfer the case to an Orange judge.
"Practically speaking, it's not a good idea to switch judges," the district attorney said. "It's not useful to keep changing judges because the case is so voluminous and it's time-consuming [for a new judge] to get up to speed."
Grady's office will be joined by the state Attorney General's office in opposing Fentress's transfer to a less-secure facility. That's because the state Office of Mental Health is following the recommendation of Fentress's treatment team, which contends he is not ready for more freedom.
In documents filed last week, Dr. Salil Kathpalia, director of clinical services at Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center, is quoted saying Fentress "currently suffers from a dangerous mental disorder."
Kathpalia asks the court "issue an order authorizing continued custody of the defendant (Fentress) by the Commissioner of Mental Health."
Larry Fisher-Hertz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.