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Conn. Home Invasion: Steven Hayes Was Beaten and Sexually Abused as Child, Says Psychiatrist

Conn. Home Invasion: Steven Hayes Was Beaten and Sexually Abused as Child, Says Psychiatrist
Dr. William Petit Jr., with his daughters Michaela, front, Hayley, center rear, and his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit (AP Photo/William Petit) AP Photo/William Petit

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) Steven Hayes was regularly abused by his father as a child and sexually abused by a babysitter at age 10, according to a psychiatrist called by the defense in the sentencing phase of Hayes' trial for the 2007 Cheshire, Connecticut triple murder.

PICTURES: The Petit Family

Dr. Eric Goldsmith testified Wednesday that during the nearly 37 hours he spent with Hayes he learned that he had been subjected to intense beatings by his father, and witnessed his father beating his mother and one of his brothers.

Hayes also told him that he was molested by a babysitter around 10 or 11 years of age and that the abuse resulted in an odd fetish involving a woman's old sneaker, according to the New Haven Register.

Prosecutors say that Hayes, along with a second man, Joshua Komisarjevsky, broke into the Petit home, beat Dr. William Petit up and tied him up in the basement. They then tied the family's two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, to their beds and forced Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, to drive to a bank and withdrawal a large amount of money. Hayes then raped and strangled her, and the two men allegedly set the house on fire, killing everyone but Dr. Petit.

The same jury that will decide Hayes' fate previously convicted him of 16 criminal counts.

Defense attorneys have argued that Hayes was led into the violence by Komisarjevsky, who still awaits trial. Goldsmith testified Thursday that Hayes told him he was shocked by Komisarjevsky's violence but found himself drawn into it and lost control of his rage resulting in the rape and strangulation of Hawke-Petit.

Hayes also told Goldsmith that the idea for the break-in was Komisarjevsky's and that Hayes initially thought the plan "was ridiculous," the Register reported.

The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Tuesday to determine whether Hayes will receive the death penalty or life in prison.