May 1—A man charged in a violent sexual assault in Manchester on Thursday had been released from jail less than a week earlier, after Hillsborough County prosecutors failed to find a doctor to evaluate him to be committed for mental health treatment.
Amuri Diole, 27, was charged with three counts of rape and one count of criminal threatening, after a woman said he sexually assaulted her while threatening her with a knife in the cemetery on Valley Street on Thursday afternoon.
During Diole's arraignment Friday, Assistant County Attorney Elena Brander said the victim lost consciousness when Diole slammed her head into a granite pillar in the cemetery. The woman was able to grab her phone and call 911 before her attacker chased her down and began assaulting her again, according to Manchester police reports.
The woman was wearing only a sweatshirt when police found her, Brander said. A police report said the woman had blood on her hands and legs.
"She had to run into the arms of police half naked," scared and embarrassed, Brander said.
The victim told police the assault lasted about two hours Thursday afternoon.
During Diole's arraignment Friday, his public defender asked if it was reasonable to believe that the assault could have happened the way the victim described, because other people living in the cemetery could have intervened or called 911 earlier.
"Essentially, what she is saying is nobody saw or heard or walked through the cemetery over a two-hour period," said public defender Tom Stonitsch.
Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi ordered Diole jailed on preventive detention, but granted his attorney's request for an evidentiary hearing on May 17 "to fill out the picture a little more."
"I don't have anything that would lead me to believe there is any reason for the victim to lie," Nicolosi said.
Prosecutors: Diole was dangerous
Prosecutors believed Diole to be dangerous and had been pursuing an order of commitment after he was found incompetent to stand trial for a 2018 assault.
But first, the prosecutors needed to find a psychiatrist to evaluate Diole and make that determination. The law gives prosecutors three months to find a psychiatrist to complete the evaluation.
Hillsborough County prosecutors failed to find a psychiatrist to evaluate Diole within that time frame.
"In Mr. Diole's case, a qualified psychiatrist who was willing to do the evaluation was unable to be found," the county attorney's office said in a statement to the Union Leader.
A judge ordered Diole released from the Valley Street jail on April 23.
When Diole was released, he was only given the toll-free number for the state's mental health hotline, which he could have called to be connected with mental health treatment.
With no place to go after spending more than two years in jail awaiting trial or treatment, Diole returned to the Valley Street cemetery, his public defender said. He had been living in the graveyard before he was arrested in 2018.
The assault occurred six days later.
The woman who was assaulted told police her attacker put a knife to the back of her neck at one point and to the front at another, threatening to kill her.
Police found Diole on the back side of the mausoleum and arrested him. The crypt is on an embankment that overlooks the lowest area of the cemetery, where homeless people often live.