[Photo caption/credit: Judge Richard Berman (via WND)]
Clinton appointee ignores physicians, orders more treatment for Dinesh
NEW YORK – At a hearing Monday in Manhattan in which he ruled filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza must continue community service for four more years, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said he considers D’Souza’s violation of federal campaign-finance laws to be evidence of a psychological problem and ordered further counseling.
D’Souza’s defense counsel Benjamin Brafman provided evidence to the court that the psychiatrist D’Souza was ordered to see found no indication of depression or reason for medication. In addition, the psychologist D’Souza subsequently consulted provided a written statement concluding there was no need to continue the consultation, because D’Souza was psychologically normal and well adjusted.
But Judge Berman, who was appointed by Bill Clinton, disagreed, effectively overruling the judgment of the two licensed psychological counselors the U.S. probation department had approved as part of D’Souza’s criminal sentence.
“I only insisted on psychological counseling as part of Mr. D’Souza’s sentence because I wanted to be helpful,” the judge explained. “I am requiring Mr. D’Souza to see a new psychological counselor and to continue the weekly psychological consultation not as part of his punishment or to be retributive.
D’Souza has become known for his two popular films critical of President Obama. “2016: Obama’s America” was released during the 2012 presidential campaign and “America: Imagine the World Without Her” came out in July 2014, ahead of the midterm elections.
“I’m not singling out Mr. D’Souza to pick on him,” Berman said at the hearing Monday. “A requirement for psychological counseling often comes up in my hearings in cases where I find it hard to understand why someone did what they did.”
WND reported that at the Sept. 23, 2014, sentencing hearing, Berman said he could not understand how someone of D’Souza’s intelligence, with credentials that include college president, could do something so stupid as to violate federal campaign contribution laws. D’Souza was at the pinnacle of his career, writing bestselling non-fiction books and producing popular feature films.
As WND reported, after pleading guilty to campaign-finance violations, D’Souza was sentenced in September to eight months in a work-release center, five years of probation, a $30,000 fine and community service. He pleaded guilty in May 2014 to arranging “straw donors” to contribute $10,000 to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long, a college friend.
On May 31, he was released from nightly detention at a work-release center in San Diego after eight months. During that time, in fulfillment of his community service requirement, he taught English once a week to Spanish-speaking applicants for American citizenship. Berman ruled Monday he must continue for another four years the community-service portion of his sentence.
In his eight months of nightly confinement, he found time to sign a contract with HarperCollins and begin writing a new book to follow his 2014 New York Times bestseller, “America.” He also started the process of financing his next feature film, scheduled for the 2016 presidential campaign. And he’s designed a sequel to his highly profitable 2014 feature film, “America: Imagine the World Without Her.”
‘I was a psychology major’
Berman explained at the hearing Monday that his social-work training combined with his psychology major has made him sensitive to psychological issues in the criminal cases he hears.
“You have to understand, I have a background in social work with a
psychology major,” Berman explained. “I’m sensitive to mental health issues in the criminal cases I hear, and I do not want to end psychological counseling at this time in Mr. D’Souza’s case.”
Brafman countered that it was not fair to require someone like D’Souza to continue psychological counseling as part of his sentence when the doctors D’Souza has seen so far believe he does not need to continue the psychological counseling.
Written by Jerome R. Corsi
Full report at WND
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