Lorena Bobbitt Freed by Judge, Will Have to Get Therapy
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) _ Lorena Bobbitt was released from a mental hospital today, five weeks after her acquittal by reason of insanity for cutting off her husband’s penis. The judge who freed her ordered her to get therapy.
Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. agreed with a psychiatric report that Mrs. Bobbitt poses no threat to herself or others.
″I’m looking forward to my healing process,″ a beaming Mrs. Bobbitt told reporters after the 25-minute hearing.
″I really learned a lot, especially about how men and women treat each other. Please, we are human beings. Learn from this,″ she said.
″Someday I would like to have children. ... Someday I will have my American dream again,″ she said. She testified at her trial that she came to this country from Ecuador seeking the American dream of marriage and family.
Whisenant ordered that Mrs. Bobbitt receive mental health treatment with a private therapist and requested regular updates on her progress.
The judge followed recommendations from a state-appointed psychiatrist and psychologist who evaluated Mrs. Bobbitt at Central State Hospital. She was sent there immediately after the Jan. 21 verdict in the attack on her husband, John, last June.
Whisenant also said she could not leave Virginia without permission of the court and the local community service board that will supervise her rehabilitation. Mrs. Bobbitt had expressed interest in visiting her parents, who now live in Venezuela.
But when asked about her immediate plans, Mrs. Bobbitt said jokingly: ″Well I have already been to McDonald’s today. The next stop is Disney World.″ She said a sheriff’s deputy took her to McDonald’s for breakfast on the way to court.
Prosecutor Paul B. Ebert, whose office unsuccessfully prosecuted both Bobbitts, said Mrs. Bobbitt could remain under control of the court indefinitely.
″I think the court, at least initially, ought to have complete control over her,″ Ebert said.
″We have people who stay under the jurisdiction of the court most of their lives,″ he said.
Defense attorney Blair Howard said the doctors found that Mrs. Bobbitt was no longer suffering from the conditions that prompted the attack, and that her compliance with court orders before her trial made her a good candidate for release.
Mrs. Bobbitt’s friend and employer, Janna Bisutti, said she plans to resume her $24,000-a-year job as a manicurist. Mrs. Bobbitt will also make public appearances and probably sell the rights to her story for a TV movie and a book, said her agent, Alan Hauge.
At her trial, Mrs. Bobbitt’s lawyers said she suffered severe emotional, physical and sexual abuse from Bobbitt. The abuse sent her into mental illness and left her unable to resist the impulse to harm Bobbitt, the defense claimed.
Bobbitt, who was acquitted in November of sexually assaulting his wife, denied ever abusing her. His penis was surgically reattached but full functioning has not yet returned.
Bobbitt, 26, is making appearances in Germany, his lawyer, Greg Murphy, said. He has said he needs to raise money to pay for legal and medical bills.
The couple are seeking a divorce.