Isabella Guzman now — She can now leave her hospital confinement for therapy sessions

Isabella Guzman

When she was 18 years old, Isabella Guzman gained notoriety for her eccentric behavior in a courtroom hearing for murder. She had stabbed her mother, Yun Mi Hoy, 79 times during a psychotic episode on August 28, 2013. To the people’s surprise, the court ruled in favor of her not-guilty plea and she was deemed innocent by reason of insanity.

It later emerged that Guzman was suffering from schizophrenia and had delusions that her mother was a woman named Cecilia who needed to be sacrificed to save the world from destruction. District Attorney George Brauchler said:

“Based on the evidence that I’ve seen and the information that’s been presented in court, [Isabella Guzman] did not know right from wrong and she could not have acted differently than she did, given the significant schizophrenia and paranoid delusions, audible, visual hallucinations that she was going through.”

As of June 2021, Isabella Guzman is allowed to leave the mental health institute for therapy sessions – She is required to wear a GPS tracker

The 2014 court ruling mandated Isabella Guzman to undergo treatment for her schizophrenia and delusions at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. She was to be confined at the state mental hospital for as long as it takes for her to no longer be a threat to herself or the community.

In June 2021, a judge ruled that Guzman would be permitted to leave the hospital for therapy sessions that involve group therapy and additional forms of treatment. Nevertheless, she is required to wear a GPS tracker for her public outings so that her whereabouts can be traced.

Guzman’s last known media appearance was on November 2020 when she gave a virtual interview (from within the hospital) with CBS News Colorado. Describing her then situation, Guzman assured the outlet that she was on medication and her sanity had been rehabilitated.

She also admitted that she wasn’t herself when she stabbed her mother.

“I have since been restored to full health… I’m not mentally ill anymore. I’m not a danger to myself or others,” Guzman said.

For most of her young life, Guzman was abused by her parents and the abuse worsened after she left the family religion at 14. As believers of Jehovah’s Witness, Guzman’s family was firmly religious and did not approve of her leaving the faith. She said the arguments and fights with her mother often left her injured.

In the interview, the then 26-year-old expressed her wish to be released from the mental health institute after being confined for more than seven years, saying:

“If I could change it or if I could take it back, I would.”

Isabella Guzman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a hospital employee in 2015 – She is pressing charges for the incident

During her stay at the hospital, Isabella Guzman was allegedly assaulted sexually in a closet by an employee of the hospital. She reported the incident to the hospital’s police in 2015 and while the Colorado Department of Human Services also investigated the case, the details remain private.

“He asked me if I wanted to go in there and look through to get some clothing. So, I did. The other patient left and he went in there and shut the door behind him. I was afraid that if I didn’t do what he wanted that he could ruin my life,” Guzman described the incident.

Guzman stated that she was planning on prosecuting the employee for the alleged assault and was traumatized by the incident. However, Pueblo’s district attorney’s office asserts that they were never forwarded the case by the hospital police.

“[It has been] so hard on me emotionally and mentally. It made me feel like I wanted to give up,” she said.

Yet, Guzman held on to the case and in early 2021, she met with the district attorney’s office to seek prosecution of the alleged assaulter. But she was informed that the hospital’s report of the incident made pressing charges difficult. Moreover, the six years gap of time between the initial filing of the report and the pursuit of prosecution made things even more complicated.

Following the office’s suggestion, Isabella Guzman is now in contact with the non-profit organization American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to take legal action against the hospital employee who assaulted her.