Thomas Dean Mabe. Photo: Palm Springs Police Department
Thomas Dean Mabe. Photo: Palm Springs Police Department

The trial of a man accused of a sexual assault on both an older man and woman as they slept in their bed was put on hold until June and jurors were dismissed due to a last-minute dispute among attorneys over the admissibility of a psychiatrist’s report on the defendant.

Thomas Dean Mabe, 45, is charged with two counts each of assault with intent to commit rape and elder abuse, as well as sexual battery, oral copulation of a sleeping victim and burglary.

Mabe, who is accused of breaking into a married couple’s Palm Springs home and sexually assaulting the husband and wife as they slept, was set to go on trial for the charges Monday when attorneys found they were unable to reconcile whether a psychiatrist’s report on Mabe should be disclosed to jurors.

The psychiatrist was also expected to testify regarding the effects of methamphetamine and opiate use, according to court records.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling III thanked and excused the jurors, telling them that legal issues had arisen that “necessitate that the case be continued.”

Mabe’s trial date was reset for June 26.

Prosecutors allege Mabe broke into the couple’s home in Palm Springs sometime after 3 a.m. April 21, 2016, slipped into their bed while they slept and sexually assaulted both the 71-year-old husband and 69-year-old wife, identified as John and Jane Doe in court documents.

After the couple awoke to find Mabe in their bed, he allegedly told them that the male victim had sent him a key through the mail, according to a prosecutor’s trial brief. Police later found that one of the home’s picture windows near the front door was ajar, the brief states.

While the wife called 911, Mabe grabbed her by the shoulders, but was punched by the husband, the brief alleges. Mabe remained at the house until police arrived and arrested him.

The break-in occurred about a month after Mabe was released on probation for trying to grab a 16-year-old girl as she was walking in the 1600 block of San Lorenzo Road. The girl alleged that Mabe approached her and apparently tried to engage her in conversation and then moved aggressively toward her in an attempt to grab her. She was not physically harmed and Mabe was located less than an hour later in the 500 block of Sunrise Way.

Court records show he was placed on three years probation on March 19, 2016. Mabe recently agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to register as a sex offender in connection with that incident.

He remains held on $1 million bail.

–City News Service

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