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Schaffhausen asking appeals court to prevent mental health worker visits


RIVER FALLS, WI (WTAQ) - The man accused of killing his three young daughters in River Falls in July has asked a state appeals court to stop mental health workers from repeatedly visiting his jail cell.

His attorney says Aaron Schaffhausen is having his constitutional rights violated, when a mental health worker for the St. Croix County Jail visits him 3 times a week.

Defense lawyer John Kucinski calls the mental health worker an “agent of the state.” He says prosecutors and jail staffers are working together to document facts about Schaffhausen that can be used against him – and it might hurt his ability to make an insanity defense should he pursue it.

But sheriff’s officials said the visits are part of their obligation to provide health care to their inmates.

The issue came up at his last court hearing, when a judge entered not guilty pleas for the 35-year-old Schaffhausen on three homicide charges and a count of arson.

A judge ruled that the visits could continue, but the mental health worker would have to leave if Schaffhausen doesn’t speak.

Kucinski says Schaffhausen is no longer at risk of committing suicide, and therefore he doesn’t need the mental health visits. He said his client has invoked his right to remain silent, and have his attorney present for all questioning.

Meanwhile, a court hearing on other issues involving evidence is set for Thursday in Hudson.

Schauffhausen is accused of killing his daughters Amara, Sophia, and Cecilia at their mother’s home on July 10th.