Crime

Mentalist refutes possibility of sexual assault while hypnotized, offers $100,000 for proof of a trance

A New York City celebrity is offering a $100,000 award to anyone who can put someone in a hypnotic trance in the wake of a Kennewick criminal case where a woman says she was sexually assaulted by an amateur hypnotist.

George Joseph Kresege, a self-described mentalist and performance artist known as “the Amazing Kreskin,” issued the challenge Monday.

The man who put the victim in a trance, Kevin Christian Geyer, 25, of Kennwick, has told investigators he did take advantage of the woman while she was under hypnosis. Kreskin says such a trance isn’t possible.

“I demonstrate that the subject is conscious of everything going on at all times,” Kreskin said. “Obviously I am against any kind of sexual abuse but in regards to the helplessness of a hypnotized person, the chances of them not being able to resist is less than zero.”

The woman was at Geyer’s home June 4, according to court documents. He reportedly hypnotized her in the past to help her with her problems.

This time, Geyer “placed (the woman) under a state of hypnosis directing her to block out all of her senses except her hearing,” documents said.

The woman later told Kennewick police she had vague images of Geyer sexually assaulting her while she was hypnotized. She also found evidence of the sexual contact on her clothing, court documents said.

The woman confronted Geyer by text message, and he allegedly responded by apologizing. He admitted to investigators that he inappropriately touched the woman, documents said.

“He acknowledged that he took advantage of her while she was under hypnosis and expressed his deep regret,” Deputy Prosecutor Megan Whitmire wrote.

Geyer has pleaded not guilty to a single count of indecent liberties and is out of custody on personal recognizance. His trial is scheduled for Jan. 5

Kreskin has challenged the idea of a “hypnotic trance” for decades, saying that people are actually compelled to do things consciously through suggestion. A hypnotist sued him in 1983 for not following through on his promise to pay $50,000 to anyone who could place someone in a hypnotic trance. A New Jersey judge threw out the case when the hypnotist failed to provide evidence.

“Kreskin has made a mockery of public performances of hypnotism and seriously confronted and questioned the claims of medical hypnotists,” according to his website’s biography.

Kreskin has injected himself into other regional and national criminal cases and news. The New York Times wrote about his house-hunting efforts in the early 1990s, specifically that he was looking for a truly haunted home.

Kreskin has volunteered his services in missing persons cases, including one involving a Chicago-area woman in early 2008, though state investigators declined that offer. He’s made predictions as part of New Year’s Eve coverage and events such as the Super Bowl.

Neither Kreskin nor his agent returned a late Monday afternoon call regarding his new challenge.

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