UPDATE: Mental evaluation ordered for teen sex assault suspect - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Mental evaluation ordered for teen sex assault suspect

Posted:

MONROE (WKOW) -- A judge Friday ordered a mental evaluation of a Monroe teenager charged with felony sexual assault, to determine if 17-year-old Michael Gifford is competent to stand trial.

Gifford faces four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. Authorities say Gifford repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl between July 2012 and this month. Authorities say Gifford used force against the girl in some of the sex assaults.

Gifford's attorney argues the boy has a diminished mental capacity. The criminal complaint in the case cites family members claiming Gifford has the mental capacity of a nine year old.

Green County Judge Thomas Vale ordered a Madison-based medical specialist to evaluate Gifford. Vale will decide next month whether Gifford is competent to stand trial. Gifford is a sophomore student at Monroe High School. 

Also Friday, a judge reduced Gifford's bail from $15,000 to a signature bond, and approved his placement into a foster home. That placement was set up through Green County Social Services.

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MONROE (WKOW) -- A Monroe teenager was charged with the felony sexual assaults of a teenage girl, as his attorney argued the boy has a diminished mental capacity.

17-year old Michael Gifford appeared in Green County court from jail via video link Tuesday, and was charged with four felony crimes and one misdemeanor crime.

Judge James Beer set Gifford's bail at $15,000.

Gifford's attorney, assistant state public defender Guy Taylor says Gifford has a cognitive disability. Taylor says he will petition the court to consider placing Gifford in a county group home during the duration of the case.

In a criminal complaint against Gifford, relatives say Gifford has the mental capacity of a nine year old.

The complaint states a friend of a 16-year old girl alerted authorities Jan. 6 to possible harm against the girl.

When officers located the girl, the criminal complaint states she said Gifford had been "raping" her regularly since the summer of 2012.

"With the last incident, on the first or second of January, she indicated...he kept hitting her to her to comply, to give in," assistant Green County district attorney Jeffrey Kohl says.

Authorities say officers arrested Gifford at a Town of Clarno trailer home. The complaint states Gifford denied sexually assaulting the girl.

Documents state the girl said the crimes against her took place when she was both 15 and 16 years old.

Documents and newspaper reports show Gifford is a tenth grade student at Monroe High School.

The criminal complaint states the victim has a child as the result of a previous, sexual assault by someone other than Gifford.

 

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