Home / News / Man in court for belly button fixation sparks autism debate – fox8.com

Man in court for belly button fixation sparks autism debate – fox8.com

AKRON, Ohio — A decide should determine learn how to cope with a person recognized with autism who has repeatedly violated his probation for sexual battery by asking women to touch their bellybuttons.

Graig Burrier, 29, of Stow, pleaded responsible Wednesday to violating probation after approaching a feminine jogger and asking to see her bellybutton twice in July.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Mary Rowlands should determine whether or not to ship Burrier again to state jail or to an inpatient remedy program for intercourse offenders in Minnesota.

Burrier’s lawyer, Joe Gorman, says his shopper is autistic and must be given remedy, not jail. Prosecutors argued that Burrier just isn’t autistic and need him to complete the remaining two years of a suspended jail sentence.

“This was not an impulsive behavior; it was deliberate,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh stated in a press release on Thursday. “This is not the type of behavior someone with autism typically exhibits.”

Autism spectrum dysfunction is an umbrella time period for a gaggle of developmental issues that may have an effect on an individual’s potential to speak. Repetitive and inappropriate touching might be an indication of the dysfunction, however it’s troublesome to say, stated Angela Scarpa, a psychology professor at Virginia Tech, who was not addressing Burrier’s case particularly.

Burrier was charged with rape in 2011 after he advised a pregnant 19-year-previous that he wanted to the touch her bellybutton for a fraternity ritual. Authorities stated he pushed her towards a wall and digitally penetrated her.

As a part of a plea deal, he was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and a 4-yr suspended sentence, and was launched from jail in 2016.

Burrier beforehand had been recognized with autism. But when Rowlands ordered him to bear a psychiatric analysis, psychologists stated he didn’t “display symptoms” of the dysfunction, in line with the analysis obtained by The Akron Beacon Journal.

The analysis listed 5 incidents between 2007 and 2010 when requested to see ladies’s bellybuttons. In one occasion, he paid an 18-year-previous lady $three to kiss her navel.

Court data present that Burrier had been charged with three earlier probation violations. Less than 4 months after being convicted in 2012, his probation officer stated Burrier was suicidal and had made no progress in remedy. He was despatched to jail in August 2015 for one other probation violation and was launched in July 2016.

Prosecutors say Burrier already had an opportunity at remedy and sending him to jail would shield ladies from harassment. Gorman argued the remedy wasn’t sufficient and that inpatient care is a greater lengthy-time period answer.

“I can’t imagine housing him in our state prison facility for two years is going to stop the problem,” Gorman stated. “They’ve already tried that.”

Matthew Lerner, a professor of psychology at Stony Brook University in New York, stated autistic individuals typically run into challenges due to their difficulties with totally different social contexts.

“It’s a really pressing matter,” Lerner stated. “The criminal justice system is not often equipped to handle people with autism.”

**More on this story, here**

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