A 75-year-old man who was charged in December with raping a woman has been found not competent to stand trial.
The prosecution and defense both agreed with the findings of a competency examination performed at the North Dakota State Hospital that found Larry Trout was not competent. Trout was charged in December with gross sexual imposition in December. That charge took the place of a misdemeanor charge of sexual assault that was filed in August 2018.
In both cases, police filed the charges by testifying before a judge rather than filing an affidavit of probable cause, so information on the accusations against Trout was limited. In the criminal complaint filed in Northwest District Court, prosecutors accuse him of performing a sex act on a woman he “knew or had reasonable cause to believe … suffered from a mental disease or defect which rendered her incapable of understanding the nature of his conduct.”
At a status conference Wednesday afternoon, Eric Lundberg, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, and Misty Nehring, Trout’s public defender, both agreed with the findings of the evaluation. The report was filed with the court under seal and is not available to the public.
Northwest District Judge Kirsten Sjue said in court Wednesday that the evaluation recommended that Trout be transferred to an inpatient facility for evaluation and treatment.
Nehring told Sjue that the report was vague about whether Trout might regain competency with treatment.
“We would have a much better answer when he (is) there in person,” she said.
Sjue asked Lundberg and Nehring to work together to file a motion to have Trout transferred to the state hospital.
“It’s better to do it sooner rather than later,” Sjue said.