Assumed identity of autistic for 19 years

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 62
Gender: Male
Posts: 19,833
Location: Long Island, New York

19 Mar 2019, 11:24 pm

NYC Man Who Assumed Identity of Man With Autism for Nearly 20 Years Also Pleads Guilty to Dragging Cop During Traffic Stop: DA

eens man who assumed the identity of a man with autism for nearly two decades also admitted to assaulting a police officer during a traffic stop in 2017, prosecutors say.

Joel Burnett, 40, entered two guilty pleas - one for assaulting a police officer during a traffic stop and the other for stealing the identity of a man with autism, Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan, on behalf of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, announced Tuesday.

The attack stems from a car stop in July 2017 and resulted in the officer being injured. When Burnett was arrested in the assault case, it was discovered that he had assumed the identity of a man with autism for nearly two decades, prosecutors say.

Burnett is expected to be sentenced April 2 to 13-and-a-half years in prison and five years post-release supervision for the assault on the police officer and one-and-a half to three years in prison for identity theft. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

In the identity theft case, Burnett filed for and obtained a Visa to emigrate from his native Jamaica to the United States on July 19, 2000, prosecutors say. Upon gaining entry to the United States, Burnett assumed the identity of a man with severe autism who lives in a group home, according to prosecutors, using the assumed identity — as well as the birth date of the victim — for the last 19 years.

Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

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