Defense attorney says Michael Ciskiewic previously diagnosed with schizophrenia

Michael Ciskiewic

LOCKPORT — A defense attorney for Michael Ciskiewic of Niagara Falls indicated Friday he may seek a psychiatric defense against charges that Ciskiewic abducted, brutally beat and raped a Falls woman in his Monroe Avenue home June 9.

Ciskiewic, 26, is accused of abducting a neighborhood at gunpoint, dragging her back to his home and chaining her to an object in the basement and then to a bed in an upstairs room. Falls police say Ciskiewic raped and brutally beat the woman over the course of 12 hours, breaking several bones both in her face and in her hand.

Concerned family members and a neighbor alerted Falls police, who used a bloodhound to track to the victim to Ciskiewic’s home. Falls police surrounded the home and eventually stormed inside, but by then Ciskiewic was gone. 

Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force located Ciskiewic about 7:30 p.m. June 10 in a field near 24th Street and Allen Avenue.

Defense attorney Dominic Saraceno said he had an expert interview Ciskiewic at the jail, but is still unsure whether he will put forward a psychiatric defense. In a psychiatric or mental disorder defense, attorneys argue a defendant is not responsible for their crimes because of an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease.

Ciskiewic is scheduled to stand trial beginning Jan. 6 on charges of first-degree kidnapping, rape, assault, criminal sexual act, predatory sexual assault, menacing and burglary. However, that trial is likely to be delayed due to Saraceno’s involvement in a murder trial.

Saraceno said Ciskiewic’s mother has told him her son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at an early age. 

Ciskiewic is scheduled to return before Murphy Dec. 13.

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