By Debra Friedman, STAFF WRITER
Published 09:20 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2009
STAMFORD — A Norwalk psychic charged with lying to police about an assault outside her Greenwich Avenue office took steps to enter a court diversionary program Monday in state Superior Court.
Janet Lee, 35, of 143 Wolfpit Ave., submitted an application for accelerated rehabilitation during a brief court appearance. If granted, the program could wipe away the charges against her that include making false statements and interfering with an officer.
Lee, a psychic who boasts a large, elite clientele, said someone attacked her outside her store at 16 Greenwich Ave. on July 11 and left her with a black eye and a cut on her face. However, investigators said they found several inconsistencies with her story in the weeks following the report.
In Lee’s arrest warrant, Detective Robert Brown Jr. wrote that Lee told her father while at the hospital that her husband had assaulted her in their Norwalk home earlier in the evening. However, Brown said her father changed his story when he questioned him about it, according to the warrant.
Lee said after her court arraignment that she was telling the truth and felt police were treating her unfairly.
“It all came to me as a big surprise,” Lee said in October. “I was brutally beaten, and at the E.R., I never thought I would get arrested.”
Lee’s attorney, Mark Sherman, of Stamford, said despite entering into the program, Lee maintains she did not lie to police.
“This is not an admission of guilt by any means,” Sherman said. “In light of the impact a trial of this case would have on Janet and her family, applying for this program made the most sense.”
In Lee’s arrest warrant, police said they also became suspicious about why Lee did not drive herself to Greenwich Hospital after supposedly suffering a brutal attack, or call police from her cell phone.
Lee told police she believed someone — possibly a group of rival psychics — was targeting her to drive her out of business. She also told Norwalk police she received threatening voice messages over the summer.
Sherman said the court will review her application to the program in the next few weeks. At her next court hearing, a judge will hear from prosecutors to see if they have any objections to granting the program before he makes a final decision. Police also will be notified about the program to see if they have any objections.
The accelerated rehabilitation program is available to first-time offenders who are charged with a nonviolent crime. Once the program is granted, the offender cannot dispute the charges. If the offender violates the terms of the probation, the case is brought back to court, according to the court’s Web site.
Lee is due back in court Dec. 7.