Accused Serial Rapist, 43, Got Out After Experts Cited Age, Illness


Serial rapist Essie Billingslea, who is accused of brutally raping an Arlington, Ma., woman in her home, convinced a jury to free him last year thanks in part to three taxpayer-funded experts who testified that the Level 3 sex offender was a changed man who was too old and sick to be a threat to public safety, says the Boston Herald. “I think he struggles in treatment, sometimes pushing the envelope, if you will. But, nonetheless, I think there's been change in the man, and I think it's been sufficient so that we don't any longer need the strict security of [prison],” Frederick Winsmann, a Boston psychologist hired by Billingslea's lawyer at taxpayer expense, testified.

Billingslea is due back in court this month. He was freed in March 2013 after Winsmann and other experts hired by Billingslea testified at a trial where a jury overturned a 2006 court ruling that had civilly committed Billingslea indefinitely as a sexually dangerous person. Billingslea's rap sheet included convictions for a 1993 assault on an 11-year-old girl, his part in a 1988 gang rape, and the 1986 rape of a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint he committed at age 16. Joseph Plaud, another psychologist hired by Billingslea's lawyer, testified that he was too old and infirm to harm people any more. “Given his current age, given his participation in treatment, given the change in his entire ?social milieu, given the fact that he has a number of significant medical issues — I mean, he is 43 years old and he has a number of medical issues, as well, to deal with,” Plaud said.

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