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Utah woman in 'telepathic rape' case pleads guilty
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Centerville woman accused of urging her husband to shoot their neighbor over "telepathic rape" has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Meloney Selleneit, 55, pleaded guilty — but mentally ill — to criminal solicitation and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, both second-degree felonies, during a pretrial conference last Thursday.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 31 in Farmington's 2nd District Court.

Her husband, 55-year-old Michael Selleneit, shot their neighbor, Tony Pierce, in October 2011 after claiming that Pierce was "telepathically raping" his wife.

In January, Michael Selleneit pleaded guilty and mentally ill to reduced charges of attempted manslaughter and use of a firearm by a restricted person, both second-degree felonies.

The husband was sentenced in May to serve two consecutive one-to-15 years terms at the Utah State Prison. However, 2nd District Judge Thomas Kay ruled that he could be confined to the state hospital until doctors determine he no longer needs treatment. At that time, he would be taken to the prison.

Meloney Selleneit has spent over a year receiving treatment at the state hospital, after she was deemed incompetent to proceed with trial. However, in August, a judge ruled she was competent to proceed with trial.

The husband's mental competency was questioned repeatedly after the shooting, but Kay ruled last September that he was competent to stand trial because the state statute requires only that a defendant be able to understand the charges against him and assist in his defense. Kay said Michael Selleneit was capable of both, though mental health evaluators were split on his competency.

Meloney Selleneit is accused of illegally purchasing the weapon that her husband used to shoot Pierce on Nov. 10, 2011. Pierce was working in the yard outside his home at 55 N. 400 West when Michael Selleneit shot him once in the back. Pierce survived the shooting, but said in a statement at Michael Selleneit's sentencing that he still experiences back pain every day as a result of the shooting.

According to previous testimony, Michael Selleneit believed Pierce was having sex parties with his wife and was using crack cocaine to control her mind.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller

Courts • Selleneit illegally purchased the gun her husband used to shoot, wound a neighbor.
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