Friday, April 19, 2024

Man who attempted to sexually assault neighbor granted conditional release

David Paul Gallant (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
David Paul Gallant (Photo courtesy Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)

A 62-year-old man found not guilty by reason of insanity was granted conditional release from Eastern State Hospital Wednesday morning after undergoing two years of psychiatric treatment.

David Paul Gallant was found not guilty by reason of insanity after breaking into a neighbor’s home in Williamsburg and attempting to sexually assault her in February 2014.

A judge granted Gallant conditional release at the recommendation of plan prepared by doctors at Eastern State Hospital, Williamsburg-James City County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green said Friday.

“Mr. Gallant still has counseling and therapy he has to attend, but instead of residing at the hospital, they’ll arrange for a residence outside the hospital as part of his slow integration back into the community,” Green said.

A report from Eastern State dated Jan. 10, 2017 states Gallant “presents as psychiatrically and behavioral stable and has benefitted from treatment provided at ESH.”

The report was filed in open court and included in the court’s case management system.

Gallant was acquitted in February 2015 on charges of burglary with intent to rape and abduction after undergoing mental health evaluations for about eight months.

The victim told police a man had knocked on her door, and when she answered, he forced his way inside and attempted to sexually assault her. She said she screamed, which attracted the attention of some people nearby and also encouraged her attacker to flee.

Gallant was acquitted after undergoing mental health evaluations for about eight months.

Doctors previously recommended Gallant’s continued inpatient treatment, once in February 2015 and again in February 2016, according to court records. He has been diagnosed with three mental disorders, the report states.

“He experiences remorse over his [not guilty by reason of insanity] offense and the harm he had caused the victim and appreciates the legal ramifications of violating the protective order and noted that he has no intention of initiating or maintaining any type of contact with the victim in the future,” the report states.

The report said Gallant has successfully completed five 48-hour, unescorted community overnight passes to an assisted living facility in York County, which were “successful.” Gallant’s treatment team and Colonial Behavioral Health recommended he be conditionally released to that facility.

While at Eastern State Hospital, he was also granted certain privileges as part of a not guilty by reason of insanity “graduated privilege system,” the report said, which include supervised community passes and unsupervised walks on hospital grounds.

Conditional release plans are “largely customized to the individual,” Green said.

A 23-page court document dated March 10 was restricted and not accessible in the Williamsburg-James City County court case management system March 17.

“The whole idea was he was not competent and was not guilty of his offense because of his mental health issues. [Mental health professionals] obviously believe he’s ready to start integrating back into the community with this conditional release plan,” Green said.

A phone call to Gallant’s attorney, Virginia Leigh Major, requesting comment on the case was not immediately returned Friday afternoon. WYDaily reporters were unable to leave a voicemail because Major’s voicemail box was full.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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