Longform

Dr. Deception: Joseph Franzetti Dispenses $300 Psych Evaluations Like They’re Flu Shots, but the Reports Are Useless

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McNaughton alleged that the flirtation became physical when the doctor rubbed up and down the inside of her leg with his knee under the examination table as they sat across from each other.

On Monday, August 29, New Times interviewed McNaughton at the jail and in the presence of her attorney.

McNaughton said she "mostly enjoyed" Franzetti's attentions when it was happening but came to her senses immediately afterward.

She said she tried within an hour to contact her attorney, Amy Nguyen, but failed. Nguyen confirms this.

Then McNaughton phoned her mother in California, who e-mailed Nguyen about 9 p.m. to recount that afternoon's alleged events.

Nguyen tells New Times that sheriff's detectives had started to investigate McNaughton's allegations at the same time the paper got wind of the situation.

The inmate was handcuffed during the hour-long interview with the paper and was wearing standard-issue black-and-white jail stripes and sandals.

She had taken pains to apply "makeup" to her eyes beforehand, using a colored blue pencil in place of mascara.

McNaughton is a pretty woman of Irish descent, with strong, angular features. She's bright, street smart, and highly verbal.

But years of intravenous drug abuse and living with biker gangs have left her rough around the edges, inside and out.

McNaughton says she never had heard of Dr. Franzetti before her interview with him. The evaluation occurred after her attorney raised concerns about her possible incompetence to stand trial because of mental-health issues.

"He did a real quick interview with me, asked me a couple of questions, then put his pen down and asked me, 'Who do you look like? Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Cox?' He told me I was a very pretty girl.

"It went from there. He talked about flying me to New Mexico when I get out, taking a motorcycle trip on his BMW or Harley. He guessed I was Irish, and said we could go to Europe, to Ireland. He showed me his fake Rolex and said he'd gotten it in Mexico, where he went to school."

McNaughton says Franzetti wasn't wearing a wedding ring but admitted he was married — unhappily, according to her account.

"I was flattered by his attention," she says. "He's a good-looking guy. He said he never stays at Rule 11's for more than 15 minutes, but there was some kind of magnetism and he didn't want to leave."

McNaughton claims that the doctor's knee first brushed up against hers under the table, and he kept it there for a while before moving it up past her knee near her private parts:

"He was scooted way down in the seat, and he put his knee up between me closer and closer and closer. He asked me if it was okay. I kind of nodded yes. I squeezed his knee at one point. I'm thinking, 'Here's this doctor with all this money, and he likes me!' I had just gotten my haircut, and I was looking pretty fly. We hit it off."

McNaughton says Franzetti gave her tips on how to show the second Rule 11 evaluator, Dr. Bruce Kushner, that she was legally competent:

"He told that the next doc was an old idiot, but to make sure that I explained to him what rights I do have because if I'm held 'incompetent' then I'd be stuck in the jail forever with no credit for time as they made me 'competent.'"

McNaughton says, as the unusual meeting passed about two hours, she asked Franzetti whether he would write to her in jail.

"He said that might be unethical," she recalls. "I said, 'And what we did under the table wasn't unethical?' He said, 'I guess so.'"

When the doctor stood up to leave and walked to the door, she says, "he was like a high-schooler. He just stood there and stared at me, kind of shuffled around a little."

A guard returned McNaughton to her pod, where she says another inmate told her, "You are glowing, sister. Where you been? Someone give you a nut out there during visitation?"

But the glow apparently soon wore off.

McNaughton says she had "kind of a panic attack" as she took a shower shortly after her encounter with Franzetti.

"I broke down," she says. "It was, 'What did I just do?'"

McNaughton soon gabbed about it with fellow inmates and says two women "told me to extort his ass." But her cellmate advised her to contact her attorney, which she did.

McNaughton says she is torn about what to think about the episode.

"What if he really did like me, and here I am ratting him out?" she asks.

Several days after the New Times interview, defense attorney Nguyen obtained a copy of a videotape made by jail officials during Franzetti's August 25 visit.

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