Convicted rapist questions his victims at Jimmy Ryce hearing

Jury to decide if Tommie Lee Andrews will be set free

ORLANDO, Fla. - A jury heard graphic testimony on Tuesday from one of the victims of a convicted serial rapist, who is in court to determine if he will be committed to a sex offender treatment facility or be a free man.

Tommie Lee Andrews, 49, was convicted back in 1988 in two Orlando-area violent rape cases by the use of his DNA--the first of its kind. Andrews is set to be released from custody on October 31 after serving nearly 25 years in prison.

The state wants him committed to a Department of Children and Families-run sex offender treatment facility under Florida's Jimmy Ryce law, where the state can ask the inmate be committed to a rehabilitation facility before being released into the community.

Andrews was dressed in a suit acting as his own attorney at his Jimmie Ryce hearing. He told jurors he was innocent of raping at least two Orlando women in 1986. He was prosecuted with the help of state attorney-elect Jeff Ashton.

Several doctors will testify on behalf of the state that Andrews is still a risk to the community.

"It's my opinion you're of high risk to commit a future act of sexual violence," said Dr. Peter Bursten, who testified Andrews suffers from several mental conditions that make it likely he will re-offend.

Andrews, acting as his own attorney, says he doesn't have a mental condition, won't seek counseling if he's released and plans to live a normal life in Tampa.

"First and foremost, I believe the evidence you'll be allowed to see and hear will help you decide if I have a current mental disorder or mental abnormality," Andrews told the jury.

The jury also heard from some of Andrews' victims, one of which who testified that she hopes Andrews would be sent to the rehab center.

The victim said Andrews violently raped her as her young kids slept in the next room and said she believes Andrews watched her for a month leading up to the attack. But when Andrews cross-examined her, she said she never got a good look at his face.

One juror was sickened during the testimony, but it's unclear if it was the emotional testimony or a momentary illness. She took a short break and agreed to continue sitting on the jury.

Andrews plans to call two witnesses--the wife he married while incarcerated and himself.

Andrews was originally sentenced to more than 100 years in prison but due to some loopholes in state law and credit he received for good behavior, Andrews will have served only 25 years.

Check back for more information and follow reporter Mike DeForest for live updates.


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