A Wentzville man who attempted to kidnap a girl in Wentzville Sunday was let out of jail weeks before so he could participate in a court that handles cases involving mental illness, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar said.
Prosecutors charged Perry with choking his sister three times July 30. He told police he didn’t know why he tried to strangle his sister and felt he could not control his body.
He was released from jail Aug. 8, less than two weeks after the assault.
Ten days later, he grabbed a girl from the porch of her home in Stone Meadows and began running with her, dropping her when the girl’s mother pursued him, police said. Perry told police that voices in his head drove him to kidnap the girl.
Perry now is being held in St. Charles County jail in lieu of a $200,000, cash only bond.
The St. Charles County prosecutor explained to Patch the circumstances surrounding Perry’s release from jail after the assault in July.
Lohmar said Perry had been released so he could participate in St. Charles County’s co-occurring court, which handles cases involving offenders who may suffer from mental illness or psychiatric disease along with a co-occurring substance abuse disorder.
“Medicaid pays for that treatment for the state,” Lohmar said. “They won’t pay for somebody until they’re out of custody. Keeping him in jail would have been our preference, but it’s not always possible in every case.”
Perry was eligible for the co-occurring court because the third-degree domestic assault is a misdemeanor, and is not classified “violent,” Lohmar said.
“The facts indicated this guy might suffer from psychiatric disease or mental illness. His crime (the assault) was not classified as violent statutorily,” Lohmar said.
A felony weapons charge or a sexual assault would disqualify an offender from the co-occurring court, Lohmar said.
Not everyone who suffers from mental illness can be tried in the co-occurring court, he pointed out.
“That’s the hole in the system,” Lohmar said. “In a perfect world, with unlimited funding, you could keep these folks in jail, have them evaluated and receive treatment.”
In Perry’s kidnapping case, he still may be evaluated. Perry or his attorney, the court or prosecutors can request a psychological evaluation, Lohmar said.