San Francisco – Tiandre Howard Kidd faced charges of burglary, attempted rape, and elder abuse for his crimes alleged against a 100-year-old San Francisco woman. However when the jury returned earlier this week, the jury acquitted him on the main charges while only convicting him of two misdemeanors: battery and elder abuse.
In vivid testimony through a Toisanese interpreter the 100-year-old victim described during the trial that Mr. Kidd knocked on her door, entered the apartment and went into the bathroom to wash his hands.
She described as Mr. Kidd lay down on her bed, feet on the ground, he pulled down his pants and, as she described, “put his hand on the thing he pees from.”
She described him as erect.
She testified that she tried to grab onto his hand to get him out. She described that he pulled down her pants – pants and underwear at the same time. And pushed “the thing towards her.”
She said that she screamed, “Are (you) crazy?” as he tried to push the thing toward her.
Eventually – in less than four minutes – the man who mistakenly entered the wrong apartment, ran out.
Public Defender Sujung Kim said that “the jury had a reasonable doubt about whether he intended to the rape the woman.” She added, “They believe because of his mental illness he didn’t form the intent to rape her and by the fact that he didn’t actually rape her, he didn’t go through with it, he just got up and left.”
“One of the jurors said that convinced her, that he never intended to rape her,” Ms. Kim said. “He thought because of his delusions that she wanted to have sex with him.”
The trial features dueling expert testimony.
The defense psychologist, found that the defendant suffered from schizophrenia and that he used drugs to self-medicate, “which actually made his symptoms worse.” He testified that when Mr. Kidd entered the woman’s apartment, “he was suffering from a delusional belief that she was coming onto him. So he acted on that belief.”
The DA’s expert disagreed. “He didn’t find any signs of schizophrenia,” Ms. Kim explained. “The jury believed my expert over the DA’s expert.”
The prosecution’s psychologist felt, “he was very calculating in his denials and he was trying to cover up his activity by lying to the police.” The prosecution thought that the story was made up that the woman wanted to have sex with him – “it was a lie.”
But the conduct of Mr. Kidd in the trial probably lent credibility to the notion that he suffered from unchecked mental illness.
For instance, during open arguments, he sat with his back to his own attorney and the jury, and faced the far wall.
“Yes, he did many odd things throughout the trial,” his attorney explained. He would knock on the counsel table several times. He would speak out loud under breath. “He’s schizophrenic and unmedicated.”
The charging of the case seemed odd – attempting to get him for burglary, not attempted rape. They actually added the attempted rape charge at the last minute.
But Ms. Kim felt that it was a mistake by the prosecution to push the burglary charge.
“The burglary charge was problematic for them because in order to prove burglary they had to prove that he entered her apartment with the intent to rape her,” she explained.
While the woman let him in to her apartment when he knocked, Sujung Kim explained that contrary to common belief, the crime of burglary does not require illegal entry into a dwelling.
Judge Conroy instructed that the jury needed to agree on when Mr. Kidd formed the intent to rape – when he walked in through the apartment door or when he walked out of the bathroom and into the living area.
The DA during closing arguments told the jury they could agree on one or the other, but did not make an argument as to which she thought it was.
The DA did concede that Mr. Kidd was at the apartment building to visit his uncle, and knocked on the wrong door. She argued that when he saw it was not his uncle’s apartment, he then entered in order to rape the woman.
She then said if you don’t believe he entered the apartment to rape her, then you can believe that he went from the bathroom to the living room in order to rape her.
“I pointed out that she wasn’t even in the living room at the time he entered it, she was standing by the bathroom door. She followed him into the living room,” she said. “The crime of burglary the intent must be formed at the time of entry into the room or house.”
And Ms. Kim argued that even if he did intend to rape her, the intention could not have been formed prior to entry.
Ultimately they did find him guilty of both misdemeanor elder abuse and battery.
“I concede those,” she said. “In my closing argument I told the jury he was guilty of those. Those crimes don’t require an intent to commit rape. Or any intent.”
He has served his time for the misdemeanors but does have a hold in Alameda County preventing his release. His attorney is seeking to get his mental illness treated.
—David M. Greenwald reporting