WASHINGTON (AP) – Presidential assailant John Hinckley wants a new girlfriend and his father wants him to get married.

Hinckley’s desires, along with his thwarted efforts to woo women, unfolded Monday during a federal court hearing into his bid for visits to his parents’ Virginia home, a three-hour drive from the Washington hospital where he has spent more than two decades since shooting President Reagan and four other people.

Paul Montalbano, a hospital psychologist, testified that Hinckley no longer suffers from the major depression and psychiatric disorder that led to his obsession with actress Jodie Foster and an attempted assassination of the president. Hinckley, who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1982, said at the time that he shot Reagan to impress Foster.

With Hinckley, his parents and his brother looking on, Montalbano said more and longer visits with his parents away from St. Elizabeths Hospital would be therapeutic. The psychologist said there is a low risk that Hinckley would be a danger to himself or others.

During cross-examiniation, assistant U.S. attorney Thomas Zeno focused on what he called Hinckley’s inappropriate advances toward women since January, adding that Hinckley “wants to have a girlfriend.”

“He wants to have intimate contact. His parents want him to date, his father wants him to get married,” Zeno said.

Over the past 18 months, Hinckley has been to the newly opened section of an air and space museum in Virginia and to an amusement park. Those were among a series of trips in the company of his parents that have included overnight stays in hotels.

within a 50-mile radius of the hospital.

The hospital says Hinckley should now be allowed three weekend releases to his parents’ home on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, to be followed by three visits of four nights each to the home. Hinckley is asking for a somewhat different plan – six visits, with the first to be two nights, with one night added to each subsequent visit, making the last visit a weeklong stay at his parents’ home.

Under questioning by Zeno, the hospital psychologist said Hinckley recently tried to make an appointment to see a staff chaplain, an approach Montalbano said was less of a spiritual nature and more about “talking to a pretty lady.” Hospital staffers spoke with Hinckley about his request, which he then dropped.

Hinckley walked a woman intern to her car and asked her if he could sing songs for her. The episode, the government suggested, is reminiscent of Hinckley’s long-ago conduct when he sent tape recordings of his singing to Foster and to another woman. The intern told Hinckley to sing for the other patients in his ward, and doctors treating Hinckley said he should discontinue walking the intern to her car.

The incidents followed Hinckley’s decision to return a ring to Leslie DeVeau, a former longtime girlfriend and ex-patient at the hospital with whom he has had no communication since January.

“In general I think his behavior has been appropriate,” said Montalbano. He said Hinckley’s interaction with the women staffers amounted to “boundary issues.”

The government says the crucial issue remains what Hinckley is thinking, particularly about his relationships with women.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman asked about the impact of gradually reintegrating Hinckley into society where he would have contact with women. Montalbano said it has been many years since Hinckley has suffered from the symptoms that led him to four suicide attempts and the Reagan shooting.

The Secret Service monitors Hinckley during his trips.


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