MIAMI – A man accused of stalking tennis star Anna Kournikova (search) was ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial Wednesday by a state judge, who had him removed from a court hearing because of repeated disruptions.
William Lepeska (search), 40, will be treated at a restrictive mental facility in Florida for the next six months under the order by Circuit Judge Diane Ward. If he shows sufficient improvement, Lepeska could then be tried on charges stemming from his alleged attempts to contact Kournikova in person, by mail and via the Internet.
"His illness is very legitimate," Ward said.
Lepeska, who has grown a beard while in custody, was removed from the courtroom Wednesday after repeatedly and loudly shuffling papers and speaking in a disjointed and fragmented way. Two psychiatrists and one psychologist who examined Lepeska in jail testified that he exhibited similar behavior then as well and that he is not taking any medication for mental illness.
"Everything is part of a conspiracy where he's been wronged," said psychologist Jethro Toomer. "He sees himself as a victim."
Lepeska, who once stabbed a sleeping college student in Wisconsin, was arrested Jan. 30 after swimming nude across Biscayne Bay in an attempt to reach Kournikova's home on Sunset Island. He wound up on the pool deck of the wrong house and was yelling "Anna! Save me!" when officers took him into custody.
At a previous court hearing, Kournikova said she has hired bodyguards and added security to her home since the incident. She also said Lepeska has sent her sexually explicit e-mails and letters. Kournikova, 23, was not present at Wednesday's hearing.
If he eventually does stand trial, Lepeska faces a possible sentence of 30 years in prison on charges of battery on police officers, resisting arrest and burglary.