A senior labour Department lawyer charged with sexually assaulting a longtime coworker he had a “crush” was found dead in jail with his throat slashed, the Washington Post and other sources reported.
Paul Mannina, 58, allegedly attacked a 60-year-old female colleague with a stun gun, pepper spray, and handcuffs. He allegedly beat her so brutally she needed surgery to have a metal plate put in her face.
Mannina’s death in his jail cell Tuesday night makes the story even stranger. Police don’t yet know whether he was murdered or killed himself. The Post reported that he had a cellmate.
The alleged assault on a woman Mannina worked with for 21 years seemed to come out of nowhere. The victim initially said she was attacked by a stranger before naming Mannina.
Mannina spent time in the hospital two days after the attack, according to The Post. As he was leaving the victim’s house on June 5, he also allegedly said, “I’ll just go shoot myself.”
Mannina’s death — which may well have been a suicide — came only hours after a judge refused him bail, even though his attorney wanted him released so he could get mental-health care. Robert Friedel, a well known East-coast psychiatrist and book author, appeared that day in court. In an e-mail to the Post, he wrote “the system at large failed Paul Mannina by not recognising and acting on the need to treat him and to see that he received the medical and psychiatric help that the situation warranted.”
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