A King County Superior Court judge ruled April 21 that Rodel V. Bautista, of Kent, is incompetent to stand trial on charges of luring a minor, in connection with a Feb. 25 incident that involved a 15-year-old Kent girl.
Judge Cheryl B. Carey ordered Bautista to be committed to Western State Hospital for up to 90 days for further mental evaluation and treatment or until Bautista becomes competent to stand trial, according to court documents.
Carey set a competency hearing for July 21 at King County Superior Court in Seattle.
Bautista, 44, pleaded not guilty to charges of luring a minor at his March 13 arraignment in Seattle.
Until Bautista is transferred to Western State Hospital, he is being held in the county jail in Seattle in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors allege that Bautista tried to lure a girl into his car as she walked along 100th Avenue Southeast near South 240th Street on Kent’s East Hill.
The girl did not get into the car and took a photo of the car’s license plate with her cell phone. That photo led to Bautista’s arrest Feb. 27 by Kent Police.
Carey made her ruling after reading an April 9 medical evaluation of Bautista by Western State Hospital doctors, and after listening to statements by Bautista and the attorneys in the case.
According to court documents, hospital staff can administer medication to Bautista to restore his competency.
When Bautista regains competency or at the end of the 90-day period, a medical report from the hospital on Bautista will be given to the court and attorneys to help decide if he is competent to stand trial.
No court proceedings will take place until Bautista is found competent to stand trial.
Bautista has a criminal history that includes a 1993 assault arrest, when he stabbed a 13-year-old boy near a bus shelter in Seattle.
He was found not guilty by reason of insanity after spending more than a year at Western State Hospital.
Bautista also has convictions for menacing, trespass, assault, obstruction, false reporting and theft dating from 1987 to 1992.
Luring, the charge that he currently faces, is a Class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact Steve Hunter at 253-872-6600, ext. 5052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.