Federal prosecutors asked for the dropping of charges against a man accused of committing sex crimes following the man’s death in December.
A federal grand jury indicted Brian A. Temple, 55, in September 2015 for attempted online enticement of a minor, interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and commission of a sex offense by an individual required to register as a sex offender.
According to the indictment, he allegedly used a cellphone in August 2015 to arrange a sexual encounter with a person he believed was a 15-year-old girl, and later that month drove to Florida to meet with the girl. He was previously been convicted in 1999 in Massachusetts for a sex offense against a child younger than 14, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s sex offender database.
As far back as October 2015, Temple’s attorney, Richard O. Allen of Camden County, made a motion for a psychological evaluation of Temple. Whether Temple was competent to stand trial remained an ongoing issue in his case for the next two years. The psychological exam report was returned to the court Feb. 1, 2016, but placed under seal.
Allen filed a motion April 11, 2016 — among others — seeking further evaluation of Temple by a local, qualified, independent psychologist at the government’s expense, to which prosecutors had no objection.
The previous examination took place at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., and Allen said he believed further testing of Temple locally could provide insight the previous evaluation did not.
In a hearing on the second motion in June 2016, court documents show Allen said he did not dispute the facts of the case, but did question his client’s ability to understand the proceedings and the charges against him. He also lodged the theory Temple suffered from a delusional compulsion and was unable to control his own actions.
Two Brunswick-based psychologists conducted their evaluations of Temple and submitted their reports, under seal to the court, in August and September of 2016.
The U.S. District Court issued its report and recommendations, and an order instituting them — albeit both documents under seal — in November 2016.
However, the case once again began moving in August of 2017 with the appointment of a new prosecutor and a new psychiatric report submitted to the court under seal, leading to an October 2017 competency hearing.
Court documents detailing the hearing and responses to it remain under seal, but Dec. 1, the court ordered Temple held in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General. According to the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, that occurs when the court “finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is presently incompetent to stand trial … .” The defendant is then placed in a treatment facility for four months or fewer to further evaluate the defendant.
However, Temple did not live through the end of the month. A motion to dismiss the indictment and an order doing so occurred Monday, stating it was necessary because Temple died of natural causes Dec. 14.