- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2001

Mayor denies guilt in child sex case

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. Jailed Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano pleaded not guilty yesterday to a 14-count federal indictment that includes charges of violating the civil rights of two children he is accused of sexually assaulting.

Mr. Giordano has been held without bond at an undisclosed location since his July 26 arrest. Federal prosecutors claim Mr. Giordano conspired with a Waterbury prostitute to gain access to the purported victims, female cousins, ages 9 and 11. They are the daughter and niece of the purported co-conspirator.

The civil rights counts were added to the initial charge against the mayor of using an interstate facility to entice a minor into sex. The civil rights charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Navy divers join search for three

PORT ISABEL, Texas A Navy dive team joined the search yesterday for three persons still missing since the collapse of a South Padre Island bridge.

Three sections of the Queen Isabella Causeway collapsed Saturday morning after being struck by barges. Five persons are confirmed dead. Five vehicles have been recovered and two remain missing.

Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration yesterday, which will allow the Federal Highway Administration and the state Department of Transportation to share the cost of repairs 80 percent to 20 percent.

Yates not well, nurse says

HOUSTON A nurse testified yesterday that a woman accused of drowning her five children has improved since her arrest, but he is worried about her mental health.

"When she came to the unit, she was what I would call catatonic," said John Bayliss, who has treated Andrea Yates since she was jailed after her June arrest. "She was in a fog."

Mr. Bayliss said she now smiles and he's seen her read and play dominoes. A jury will decide whether the former nurse is fit to stand trial. If she is found competent, a separate jury must determine her guilt or innocence.

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