AUGUSTA — A judge is allowing a mental health patient supervised visits in the Augusta area several months after he was found not criminally responsible due to a mental illness in the sexual assault and killing of his mother-in-law.

The Kennebec Journal reports Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled Friday that Paul Orchard can go into the community under the supervision of staff at the Riverview Psychiatric Center.

Wheeler cited concerns over what she calls Orchard’s “fairly brittle bipolar” diagnosis, substance abuse, hypersexuality and medication schedule. She said their hands will become tied if he doesn’t receive community treatment.

Orchard was charged with fatally strangling 57-year-old Paula Nuttall in her Peru home two years ago. Police found him naked and covered in polyurethane, which he’d been using to refinish a hardwood floor.

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