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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Freedom urged for man kept in State Hospital 25 years

By William Cole
Advertiser Staff Writer

A psychologist yesterday told a judge that Abraham Paul Jordan admitted raping 12 to 14 women, but recommended he receive unescorted off-grounds passes from Hawai'i State Hospital, where he has been held for the past 25 years.

Jordan, who changed his name from Paul Luiz, was committed to the state mental hospital after being acquitted by reason of insanity of the 1975 fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old Hawai'i Kai girl.

Prosecutors oppose Jordan's release, but attorney Peter Ross said his client has a "perfect" hospital record, has participated in all programs the hospital has to offer, and no longer is mentally ill or a danger to society. He is seeking conditional release or off-grounds passes.

James Seibel of Honolulu, whose sister Barbara was killed by Jordan in 1975 after authorities say she resisted his sexual advances, said yesterday Circuit Judge Reynaldo Graulty "has a very difficult decision" in determining whether to grant Jordan any degree of freedom. If Jordan had gone to prison for his sister's murder, he noted, he probably would have been paroled by now.

"Twenty-five years — who's to say he hasn't been helped," Seibel said, adding he is not a vindictive "kill-him type person." But he thinks any release should be with forewarning to the community.

"I just want to make sure other women are safe," he said. "There was a three-panel before. They let him out, and he killed my sister."

Psychologist Olaf Gitter, one of the "three-panel" of mental health experts appointed to examine Jordan, stopped short of recommending release for the 56-year-old Jordan, but is recommending off-grounds passes to "slowly reintegrate him into the community."

"Rather than putting Mr. Jordan, after 25 years in the hospital — suddenly in the community — my preference would be that he remain in the hospital and (seek his freedom) step-wise, one step at a time," Gitter said yesterday.

Gitter, who said Jordan is "doing very well" at the hospital, suggested two-hour passes initially, electronic monitoring and a transition into a community-based sex offender treatment program — but not conditional release based on his history of rape and murder.

Psychologist Harold Hall, an expert hired by the state who reported that Jordan "persistently attempted to fake and distort" his behavior while hospitalized, is expected to testify today.

Jordan, who was labeled a "sexual sadist," was indicted on charges of sexually assaulting four women in 1972 and 1973, but pleaded guilty and was later acquitted on grounds of mental disease, prosecutors say. While on release, he killed Barbara Seibel, according to authorities.

Gitter yesterday said Jordan admitted raping 12 to 14 women, about half of them in Hawai'i, prosecutors said. Others were in California and the Philippines.