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In NEW YORK, a fashion writer accused of sexually abusing a former co-worker while dressed as a firefighter, hoped to go to New Orleans and lead a gang of angry Hurricane Katrina survivors, a psychologist testified.

Dr. William Barr, a neuropsychologist, said Monday that the plan was something Peter Braunstein told him he considered while on the run after the attack on the woman on Halloween night 2005 in New York.

“He talked about going to New Orleans because he thought there were a lot of angry people down there and he could provide them some kind of leadership,” Barr testified.

He said that Braunstein saw the gang as having “people just like me” and that his speeches would be “mixed with some kind of end-of-the-world philosophy.”

Barr, the last witness at Braunstein’s kidnapping and sex abuse trial in state Supreme Court, did not say whether the defendant explained what he hoped the gang would do.

Barr was testifying for the prosecution under cross-examination by defense lawyer Robert C. Gottlieb when he mentioned that Braunstein had pretended to be a Katrina survivor so he could get free food, clothing and shelter.

Braunstein kept a journal in which he describes wandering Tennessee posing as a Katrina survivor.

Gottlieb asked whether Braunstein’s Katrina gang idea showed that he was delusional, and Barr replied that while it indicated “grandiose,” self-important thinking, it did not necessarily demonstrate a psychotic delusion.

The jury is being asked to consider that mental illness contributed to what the defense says was Braunstein’s lack of ability to form criminal intent, Justice Thomas Farber said in a conference on final instruction.

Braunstein, 43, is accused of igniting smoke bombs while wearing firefighter gear and tricking his way into a former co-worker’s apartment, where he knocked her out with chloroform, tied her to a bed and sexually abused her for nearly 13 hours.

Braunstein never got to New Orleans. Police captured him at the University of Memphis on December 16, 2005, about six weeks after he fled New York. He stabbed himself in the neck as police approached.

Braunstein has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, burglary, sex abuse and robbery charges, although Gottlieb concedes his client attacked the woman. He says his client, who would face 25 years to life in prison if convicted, is mentally ill and should be acquitted.
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Thank you Associated Press.
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Well Baby Boomers. this guy us a real piece of work!

This was a premeditated act as far as I am concerned…it was with a co~worker and he planned it…delusional to say the least…

He needs some serious help.

But then again, it is not the act of a rational person!

Hurricane victims from Louisiana… didn’t have a piece of cake…if he was going there to lead the masses…I think he would have been home soon!

~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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