AUGUSTA — The family of Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, D-Brunswick, who is accused of stalking and threatening a female lawmaker, has released a psychologist’s report that says the military veteran is not suffering from psychological symptoms or syndromes related to combat stress.

Ramona du Houx, Cornell du Houx’s mother, gave the report to The Portland Press Herald, saying the family wanted to dispel allegations by Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, the Brunswick lawmaker’s former girlfriend, and notions that the marine was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. Her daughter, Rebecca Cornell du Houx, released the report to the Forecaster.

Rebecca Cornell du Houx, a mental health case manager in the Maine Army National Guard, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Herbig last week secured a temporary protection-from-abuse order against Alex Cornell du Houx. Cornell du Houx claims the couple was engaged to be married and that the two lived together. Herbig’s attorney recently denied that Herbig and Cornell du Houx lived together.

Herbig’s complaint alleges a series of threatening activities, including that Cornell du Houx, a former Marine who served in Iraq, threatened to use “military training tactics” on her after the couple broke up earlier this year. Herbig did not use the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” in her complaint.

Herbig’s allegations are the subject of an investigation by Maine State Police. Spokesman Steve McCausland said last week the probe was launched after investigators were notified by the Capitol Police, a unit that works within the Department of Public Safety. Herbig approached Capitol Police in early April about concerns she had about Cornell du Houx’s behavior, but she she did not seek a protection order until last week.

McCausland would not say which of Herbig’s allegations police were investigating.

Ramona du Houx said neither her son nor his attorney, Jeff Hamm, were aware the report was being released. She said the protection order gave only Herbig’s side of the story.

Citing advice from his attorney, Alex Cornell du Houx has declined to respond to Herbig’s allegations except to say that many of her claims are false. His family, meanwhile, has attempted to clear his name in the court of public opinion.

Hamm acknowledged that he would not have advised his client to release the evaluation. However, he said, it helped dispel the PTSD stigma often assigned to combat veterans.

He added that Cornell du Houx sought the evaluation after Herbig expressed concerns to a former employer that he was suffering from PTSD.

The evaluation was conducted by Belfast psychologist Margo Bonner Thurston. She did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the psychologist’s summary, Cornell du Houx was frustrated and distressed about the relationship with Herbig after “a serious breach of trust” between the couple. According to Thurston’s assessment, Cornell du Houx did not meet the clinical definition of PTSD and that he presented himself as “intelligent, well groomed, well mannered, matter of fact, logical, extraordinarily busy and successful young man.”

Thurston wrote that the therapy sessions addressed relationship issues “to reduce stress, improve interpersonal communication so that he may restore trust within his relationship with his girlfriend and learn how he might prevent relationship problems in the future.”

Thurston wrote that Cornell du Houx admitted that he was at times “clueless” about his relationship with Herbig and that “he has appeared to be naive and superficial in his understanding of intimate interpersonal dynamics.”

Thurston wrote that her opinions were developed after 11 individual sessions with Cornell du Houx and one joint session involving him and Herbig. All appear to have taken place over a recent three-month period.

Thurston noted that Herbig initially believed Cornell du Houx suffered from PTSD.

The summary is dated Feb. 24. A fax cover sheet shows that the evaluation was sent to an Illinois phone number Feb. 28.

According to Ramona du Houx, her son was speaking at an Illinois event for the Truman National Security Project on Feb. 28. Alex Cornell du Houx had been employed at the organization for about 3 1/2 years.

The mother claimed that Herbig had expressed concerns to Alex Cornell du Houx’s boss about her ex-boyfriend’s behavior. The mother said her son presented the evaluation to his boss, Michael Moschella, in an effort to ease misgivings he may have about employing the combat veteran.

Herbig is listed as a Truman Project partner on the organization’s website.

Dave Solimini, a spokesman for the Truman National Security Project, confirmed that Cornell du Houx no longer works for the organization, but refused to say when he left or whether he was asked to resign. Solimini said Herbig is not employed by the organization but remains a dues-paying member.

Ramona du Houx said her son resigned to focus on his re-election campaign. She acknowledged that the situation with Herbig also factored into the decision.

Chris MacLean, Herbig’s attorney, said Thursday that the evaluation had no effect on his client’s case, which, he said, centered on Cornell du Houx’s “outrageous conduct,” including taking photos and videos of Herbig while she slept and stalking and threatening her.

MacLean, who said he has been involved with hundreds of protection-from-abuse cases, claimed that du Houx’s conduct was consistent with abusers who threaten to embarrass and humiliate their victims in order to prevent them from going public.

“It’s a common and sad theme,” he said, adding that he had written evidence that Cornell du Houx threatened to humiliate Herbig. He said he also was investigating whether Cornell du Houx or others were using comments on newspaper websites to damage Herbig’s reputation.

Several such comments have appeared in a Bowdoin Orient story. Some of the comments have been removed by the site’s administrator.

Cornell du Houx is a Bowdoin College graduate.

A hearing on whether to extend the temporary protection order is scheduled for May 14. MacLean said he and Hamm were discussing the case to see whether the two sides could come to an agreement.

Hamm said he did not want the story to continue being litigated in the press. He remained hopeful both parties could come to an agreement by May 14.

Steve Mistler — 791-6345

[email protected]

VIEW THE EVALUATION

Ramona Cornell du Houx, mother of Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, D-Brunswick, released this counselor’s report to The Portland Press Herald on the condition that it be published in its entirety. She said the family wanted the report released to rebut contentions that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. You can view it at pressherald.com


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