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Judge to Seek Psychitrists’ Advice Before Bail Hearing

April 3, 1992

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A judge said he’ll seek advice from psychiatrists before deciding whether to reduce the $20 million bail for a businessman with AIDS who is charged with sexually abusing four teen-age boys.

Common Pleas Judge Howland Abramson on Thursday continued Edward Savitz’s bail hearing until next Wednesday. He wants to ask psychiatrists if they think Savitz is a flight risk or would be likely to abuse youngsters if freed.

Savitz’s attorneys, Barnaby Wittels and Robert LaCheen, want the bail decreased so their client can stay in a private hospital’s psychiatric unit. LaCheen said Savitz is suicidal and needs treatment from his own doctors.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Ehrlich said the risk Savitz will flee is great.

″The defendant has a serious disease, a limited time to live and faces a long time in prison,″ Ehrlich said. ″There is also for him the great risk of additional criminal charges.″

Ehrlich said Savitz is receiving care in the Philadelphia Detention Center health services clinic and his own doctors can treat him there.

Authorities say Savitz has a sexual fetish that led him to buy the soiled underwear and feces of hundreds of boys who came to his posh downtown apartment.

His attorneys deny Savitz had sex with the teen-agers.

Publicity about the case has been blamed for scattered reports of homosexual harassment. City officials on Thursday promised to prosecute anyone who attacks or threatens homosexuals.