• Accused rapist, incompetent but still free


    UNDERCOVER - Police arrest the subject of a FOX Undercover investigation in order to force him to appear in Norfolk Superior Court.           

    Burt Blair is charged with raping a woman who lived in his group home and has been found incompetent to stand trial.        

    Despite objections from the alleged victim's mother, Blair has remained a free man.          

    The Norfolk District Attorney's Office moved on Monday to place stricter conditions on Blair's freedom, but even after the hearing the alleged victim's mother is still not satisfied the public is safe.            

    A clean-shaven Burt Blair was led into court in handcuffs Monday morning after failing to show up for the second time.          

    Both sides agree that Blair, a paranoid schizophrenic, is incompetent to stand trial.             

    But the Norfolk District Attorney's Office is pushing for stricter conditions on Blair's freedom, including assigning Blair a probation officer to monitor him.              

    Dr. Mark Schaefer testified for the DA's office.

    "Some conditions might be appropriate given the severity of the allegations against Mr. Blair and also the opinion echoed in the most recent report and prior reports that even when on medication and seemingly treatment compliant, Mr. Blair is still showing signs of a major mental illness," said Schaefer.     

    But Blair's attorney, Lisa Freije, argued her client is not dangerous, just mentally ill.          

    She called Patrick Barron to testify, who works for the Department of Mental Health, overseeing the group home in Dedham where Blair lives.

    "Burt will say that he's God, that he's John Lennon, that he has trillions of millions of dollars that people are withholding from him," said Barron. "Burt is a very nice guy. In a lot of ways. He gets along with his peers. He's friendly. He has a sense of humor to him. He's a nice guy. He likes to listen to music."              

    Blair's attorney also says her client is the victim of a false accusation by the alleged victim.

    She asked the prosecutor's expert, Dr. Schaefer, about a report compiled by the Department of Mental Health.

    "You did read in the report that there had been witnessed by DMH staff as well as complaints by Mr. Blair that the complaining witness had prior to this alleged incident had been thrusting her breasts in his face. Isn't that correct?" said Freije.

    "That was in the report, yes," replied Schaefer.           

    But that line of questioning did not go over well with the alleged victim's mother who believes Blair should be locked up until he can go on trial.

    "It's not uncommon for an attorney to make the victim look like she deserved to be violently attacked," said the mother.             

    In the end the judge released Blair, but did change the conditions of his freedom, requiring the Probation Department to check in monthly by phone with the Department of Mental Health to find out if Blair is still living in the Dedham group home.             

    The alleged victim's mother calls that a band-aid on a potential threat to public safety.           

    The experts testified that they do not expect Blair to ever be found competent to stand trial on the rape charge.
    The Trial Court has been unable to tell FOX Undercover how many other people charged with violent crimes have been found incompetent to stand trial and remain free.

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