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Motion on competency filed in Bradenton Beach porn case

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

Chiquet

A motion to declare a Bradenton Beach man legally incompetent to proceed to trial has been filed by his attorney.

Joseph Edmund Chiquet has spent the past two years in jail awaiting trial on charges of having sex with a minor, child pornography and witness tampering.

The defendant’s physicians now are questioning his fitness to stand trial based on reports filed June 27.

According to the motion, two physicians consulted with the defendant in custody at the Manatee County jail, and both found him to be incompetent.

Chiquet, 37, was arrested in 2009 after police learned of his alleged sexual relationship with a teenager, and that he took sexual photographs of her in his Bradenton Beach apartment. Search warrants allegedly yielded additional child pornography from Chiquet’s computers.

While out on bond in 2010, Chiquet was charged with offering a $10,000 bribe to a former girlfriend to tell police she was depicted in the photographs and not, as prosecutors allege, the 15-year-old girl.

After adding the bribery charge, the court revoked Chiquet’s bond, and he since has remained in custody, according to 12th Judicial Circuit Court assistant state attorney Christopher Nigro.

Two appeals, one by the defense and one by the prosecution regarding the discovery of evidence, have prolonged the case.

Settling the most recent discovery dispute, Nigro said he provided the phone logs of a prior assistant state attorney assigned to the case as requested by the defense.       The phone records were sought as part of a defense that points to possible illegally taped discussions with the defendant, Chiquet’s attorney Mark Lipinski has said.

A Nov. 14 docket sounding and November trial date were set July 11, postponing a previously scheduled July trial.

A competency hearing, however, is now expected to take place before the trial.

The hearings will be held before Judge Thomas Krug at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

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