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Experts Can't Agree on Hubbart : Psychology: One says the serial rapist is contrite and trying to control his urges. The other says he's dangerous and will attack again.

November 23, 1994|RENEE TAWA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A third, USC psychology professor Adrian Raine, disagreed with Bass' diagnosis that kept Hubbart in custody. Bass concluded that Hubbart suffers from a paraphilia, or sexual deviation. But rape is not considered a paraphilia, according to the manual used by mental health professionals to diagnose, Raine said.

"If this (man) was being released into my neighborhood, on my street, I'd be out there protesting, no question about it," said Raine, who has extensive experience evaluating prisoners. "But . . . given what the law of the land is, it doesn't seem appropriate that he's being held in prison."

State Sen. Robert Presley (D-Riverside), a former Riverside homicide detective, said laws need to change. Psychologists and psychiatrists should have input on the fate of parolees, but courts should make the final decision, he said.

"It's so important because if they make the wrong decision--and from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, they can differ--and a person is released, and rapes and kills again, there's no more serious consequence than that," Presley said.

In March, 1995, Hubbart is scheduled to go back on parole, unless he again qualifies for the "psychiatric return." But in January, 1996, Hubbart's three-year parole is up, and he must be released without supervision, regardless of his mental state.

Meanwhile, one of Hubbart's rape victims, who lives in the Claremont area, struggles to understand the process. In fine detail, the 46-year-old remembers the morning that Hubbart raped her 22 years ago in her Pomona home, with her baby daughter sleeping in the next room and her husband away at work.

Hubbart used one of her husband's neckties to tie a pillowcase around her head, she said. When he left, he said he'd be back.

"It's very frightening that (Hubbart) can say something is consensual when (he) can break into your home when you're asleep . . . and tell you: 'Do you know what a man needs when he's been locked up for so long?' " she said.

Conflicting Views

Excerpts from state mental health evaluations of serial rapist Christopher Hubbart show how opinions differed widely on some major issues.

ON HUBBART'S VIEW OF HIS VICTIMS:

"The subject's perception of reality is seriously impaired, as demonstrated by his inability to recognize the severe terror, pain and trauma that his sexual assaults inflict upon his victims, and his belief that his assaults are willingly accepted by his victims."

--Psychiatrist Barry Bass, Region IV Parole and Community Services Division, March 16, 1994

"This individual has been able to develop empathy for his victims. When one speaks with him and addresses this subject of remorse and empathy, he will articulate that he feels sorry for the victims and that he has been able to imagine what they must have gone through."

--Clinical psychologist Evelyn Sprick, California Medical Facility, Vacaville, Jan. 4, 1994

ON HUBBART'S PROGNOSIS:

"Fear of re-conviction has not deterred him. The prognosis for recovery within the next several years is virtually nil."

--Bass

"At the present time, Mr. Hubbard (sic) is aware of the fact that he developed an abnormal way of relating sexually to females. He has also developed a degree of insight into his sexual acting out which currently suggests that he is beginning to both understand and control his deviant sexual behavior."

--Sprick

ON HOW HUBBART WOULD FARE IF FREED:

"I strongly recommend that this individual be given a fair opportunity to prove himself, given his present level of motivation. I hope that his prior experience of having his parole revoked based only on the perception of danger does not repeat itself."

--Sprick

"Without a strong, well-functioning support system, he represents a danger to the community. This examiner feels that he does not have that at the present time."

--Staff psychologist Bruce J. Sutkus, California Institution for Men, Chino, April 2, 1993.

ON HUBBART'S MOTIVES:

Mr. Hubbard (sic) refers to recurrent panic attacks as serving as the precursors or triggers for his sexual escapades."

--Sprick

"He is a needy, dependent individual who somehow has experienced these sexual assaults as gratifying these needs."

--Sutkus

"He is predominantly a personality-disordered person with a compulsion to rape."

--Clinical psychologist Nancy Faulkender, California Medical Facility, Vacaville

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