A Minneapolis father accused of raping, beating and torturing his twin daughters has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, delaying a trial that was supposed to start next week.
Jerry Lee Curry, 52, was arrested in February on charges that he subjected his daughters, both of whom have developmental disabilities, to years of physical and sexual abuse at the family’s home in south Minneapolis.
At a hearing Thursday, Hennepin County District Judge Fred Karasov approved a request by Curry’s attorneys that he undergo a psychological evaluation by a court-appointed examiner to determine his mental competency to stand trial.
“We believe his mental illness is impeding his ability to understand these proceedings,” said William “Butch” Selman, Curry’s attorney. “We’re not saying he is incompetent, but we are saying that we have doubts about his competency” to stand trial.
Selman said his request for an evaluation was based on recent interactions with Curry, who appeared at the hearing Thursday. “It’s our belief that as this case has gone on, there has been a deterioration in his ability to participate,” Selman said.
Curry faces nine felony charges connected with the alleged yearslong abuse of his twin daughters in what has become known as the “house of horrors” case in south Minneapolis.
The twins, now 21, described being repeatedly raped, beaten with bats and chained for days at a time without food. Clinicians who examined the twins and their scars concluded they had been subjected to abuse that was “clinically diagnostic of torture.” Curry fathered two children with one of the twins, court records show.
A jury trial that was scheduled for Monday has been pushed back to a tentative date of Oct. 29 to give time for Curry to undergo the psychological evaluation.