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Sexual Assault Case Hinges on Woman’s 10 Personalities

October 6, 1994

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A woman who says she has 10 personalities accused a bus driver of sexual assault. Two of her personalities claim she consented to sex.

Joseph Howard, 47, was indicted July 28 on a sexual battery charge. He says he never touched the 22-year-old woman.

Howard’s lawyer, Maurice White, said Wednesday he wants a judge to order an independent psychologist to examine the woman to determine if she is capable of telling the truth.

″The doctors I’ve spoken to say that multiple personality people are notorious for faulty memory. They’re not credible,″ White said.

White also wants to question all 10 of the woman’s personalities in a deposition. The woman has told investigators they saw the attack.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush will consider both requests at an Oct. 13 hearing. No trial date has been set.

Howard, meanwhile, is free on bond and has been on unpaid leave from his job since June 28. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to two years in jail and fined up to $5,000.

The woman was a passenger June 16 on a bus run by ACCESS, an agency that provides public transportation to the elderly and people with physical and mental handicaps.

She told police Howard dropped off the other passengers, parked the bus, pushed her to the floor and sexually assaulted her.

Assistant county prosecutor John O’Shea said at a Sept. 18 hearing that one of the woman’s personalities - identified as Mitchell - said she consented to sex, and that another personality she identified as her bodyguard Mitch claimed he arranged the sex, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

O’Shea did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The woman’s other personalities include Robert, who helps her deal with traumatic situations; Michelle, a 4-year-old friend; Michelle’s father, John; and Beauty, who helps her with her makeup. Still others include a ninja warrior, a teen-age male and an unnamed male who helps her.

Multiple personality is a disorder in which a person has at least two distinct personalities, each with well-developed emotional and thought processes, behavior patterns and relationships. Any of the personalities may dominate at a given time.

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