David Knutsen is the victim of an overly broad law, and an indictment charging him with sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult patient at St. Luke's Canyon View Behavioral Health should be dismissed, according to his lawyer.
Judge G. Richard Bevan heard three motions from Knutsen's attorney, Mike Wood, on Thursday in Twin Falls.Wood wants Bevan to dismiss the indictment against Knutsen, suppress testimony in the case and deem the charges against him unconstitutional.
After a three-hour hearing Thursday on Wood's motions, Bevan said he would write a decision "in due course."
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old Knutsen, a convicted sex offender, faces trial on Jan. 30, 2010. He was indicted March 25 for four counts of sexual abuse of a vulnerable adult following the alleged incidents of abuse on Jan. 30, 2009, at Canyon View in Twin Falls. As a patient, Knutsen allegedly abused the then-21-year-old female patient, who is described in court records as developmentally delayed.
Wood argued Thursday that the statute prohibiting sexual abuse of vulnerable adults restricts an adult's right to engage in sexual activity. Adults are responsible for their own sexuality, said Wood, "not the state of Idaho."
But the Twin Falls County prosecutor on the case, Suzanne Craig, disagreed saying the felony statute is fair and protects people.
"The state may limit sexual activity," said Craig, adding it protects people "who legitimately need to be protected. ... Children need to be protected and so do people with limited mental capacity."
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Judge to Rule in Patient Abuse Case