Suspect in attempted assault of 10-year-old girl to undergo psych evaluation |

Suspect in attempted assault of 10-year-old girl to undergo psych evaluation

Christian Stevens

Criminal proceedings have been suspended against a man who allegedly attacked a 10-year-old girl, after questions were raised about his mental competency.

Christian Lee Stevens, 45, allegedly followed the girl Sept. 23 as she walked home from school in Grass Valley, demanding to know where she lived.

The girl told Stevens she wasn’t going to tell him, and he kept following her; as she entered a trail leading to Condon Park, he reportedly grabbed her by the back of the neck.

She began screaming for help, and then swung her trumpet case at him, hitting him and fleeing to her residence.

The victim was able to give police a description of her assailant, and Stevens was located in Condon Park within 20 minutes.

During a search, police reportedly located a hammer concealed in his hooded sweatshirt in such a way that he could easily reach over his shoulder and grab it, as well as an open-bladed knife in the front pocket of the sweatshirt.

His van reportedly contained approximately 10 framing hammers.

Stevens has been charged with criminal threats, false imprisonment by violence, and assault and battery, and is being held in county jail in lieu of $84,000 bail.

He appeared in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday and pleaded not guilty; his public defender, Keri Klein, then raised concerns about his competence to stand trial.

Judge Linda Sloven ordered an examination and report by a psychiatrist, and scheduled a hearing on the report for Oct. 27.

Stevens, who has ties to Yakima, Washington, reportedly has an extensive history of mental health issues and arrests in that state.

In the last 14 months, King County records show five arrests for assault and criminal trespass.

He was incarcerated there from Feb. 16 to March 31; King County reportedly was informed that he needed medication for schizophrenia, but he did not receive any treatment.

Stevens was subsequently booked and released in May and then again in June in King County; Grass Valley Police believe at the time of his arrest last week, he had been in Nevada County less than 48 hours.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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