Lindsay Child Pornography Case on Hold

March 20, 2008 1:39:18 PM PDT
The criminal case of a South Valley man accused of looking at child pornography on a library computer is on hold.A judge wants proof the suspect is competent to stand trial.

39-year old Donny Crisler squinted as he looked out at his father sitting in a Porterville courtroom. Crisler's attorney wrote notes back and forth to his deaf-mute client. His attorney says Crisler is not capable to stand trial.

Roland Soltesz, Donny Crisler's Attorney: "Mr. Crisler's severely developmentally disabled, he doesn't sign in American Sign Language he signs in what they call sign slang."

Slang sign requires Crisler to have two different kinds of sign language interpreters in court. A judge suspended all criminal proceedings and ordered that a doctor evaluate him.

Soltesz: "It's a special type of exam that's actually going to look at how he functions in the world."

Police say Donny Crisler was caught looking at child pornography at the county-owned library in Lindsay. During a search of his home, investigators say they found thousands of child pornography images. The librarian who turned him in was subpoenaed to appear in court to possibly testify in the case.

Brenda Biesterfeld made national headlines. She was fired from her job two days after she turned Crisler in. She says she went against her supervisors orders to call the police.

County leaders say her firing is unrelated to this case. Biesterfeld is confident Crisler was looking at child pornography at the library. She thinks he's able to stand trial because she had no problem communicating with him in the past.

Brenda Biesterfeld, Fired Librarian: "Well if he doesn't understand that much, how does he drive a nice looking red truck and how does he hold down a job and how is it that we wrote back and forth and communicated?"

Donny Crisler's father says the accusations against his son have been difficult on his family.

Clyde Crisler,Donny Crisler's Father: "He's scared to death he doesn't know what's going on like I said he's like a little kid in his mind he's not like a grown up."

Crisler says his son has the mentality of a 13-year old. He says his son needs psychiatric help, no matter the charges.


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