PROVO -- A judge has denied a petition from prosecutors to civilly commit a convicted rapist held while doctors continue to work toward making him competent to stand trial on nearly two dozen rape and assault charges.
The move set Lonnie Hyrum Johnson free -- again.
Johnson faces 21 counts of rape, sodomy and sexual assault in Utah. He has a previous conviction for rape in Washington state.
Several doctors testified at a hearing Wednesday that Johnson could never be made competent enough to participate in his own defense. Others believed he was faking illness.
But the judge says Utah law doesn't allow for his continued detainment.
Johnson was released last year from a Utah hospital after doctors said they couldn't restore his competency. Prosecutors have since been working to have him committed indefinitely.