Manitoba

Accused in church stabbing taken to HSC for assessment

A man arrested in the sudden stabbing of a 15-year-old girl at a Winkler, Man. church last Sunday was expected to be transported Thursday to Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre for a court ordered mental fitness assessment.

Man accused of stabbing 15 year-old in church bathroom was convicted of assault in 2015

A 15 year-old girl was stabbed at Winkler's Pembina Valley Baptist Church on Sunday Aug. 27. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

A man arrested in the sudden stabbing of a 15-year-old girl at a Winkler, Man. church last Sunday was expected to be transported Thursday to Winnipeg's Health Sciences Centre for a court ordered mental fitness assessment.

Maksym Kravchenko, 39, has been charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose in connection with the attack at the Pembina Valley Baptist Church.

Winkler Police told CBC the attack appeared random, noting the victim and accused were not known to one another. The Pastor of the church said in a written statement the attack occurred in the women's washroom.

The statement went on to say after the attack the accused "immediately exited the buildings and went and sat in a car."

'Attacked at random': No clear motive for stabbing of teen girl at Winkler church, police say

Crown attorney Mary Goska told Judge John Guy at a court hearing Thursday her "understanding is that Mr. Kravchenko will be taken to Health Sciences today." 

Kravchenko was not present in court.

Crown and defence lawyers appeared in court to seek a seven day extension to complete the fitness assessment. 

"I can't tell your honor exactly what date that assessment will take place, just that it will be within the seven day period," Goska said, adding arrangements will be made for a Russian interpreter to attend the assessment because Kravchenko does not speak much English. 

Convicted of assault in 2015

This is not the first time Kravchenko has been before the court. In February 2015 he was fined $400 and sentenced to one year probation following a domestic violence incident at his Morden apartment.

Morden police were called to the apartment after the woman reported he had been drinking and assaulted her. The woman retreated to the building's laundry room until police arrived.

In a police interview the woman reported Kravchenko had been drinking vodka when he suddenly became angry, pushed her onto a bed and struck her several times on the buttocks.

Alcohol consumption led to 2015 assault 

"He is very remorseful for what took place and tells me it happened because of the drinking that he had been doing that night," his lawyer told court at his sentencing hearing in 2015. 

At the time, Kravchenko was planning to return to Ukraine for a one month stay.

Police called the attack at the Pembina Valley Baptist Church "random." (Riley Laychuk)

"He tells me it has something to do with emotional upheaval with respect to going back to Ukraine," his lawyer said. "That in combination [with his] consumption of alcohol to excess is what accounts for his behaviour."

Court was provided no other insight into Kravchenko's background.

"He hasn't given me a lot to work with in respect to his personal life," his lawyer said.

Following the 2015 conviction Judge Jean McBride ordered that Kravchenko have no contact with the victim during the course of his probation and undergo an addictions assessment.

Kravchenko's next court date is Sept. 7.