WINKLER, Man.— The man accused of stabbing a 15-year-old girl inside a church in Winkler, Man., will receive a mental-health assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial.
Maksym Kravchenko, 39, appeared in provincial court in Morden, Man., on Tuesday to face charges of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
Pastor Michael Sullivant, who was present in the courtroom, tells CTV News that Kravchenko speaks Russian and Ukrainian, but very little English, and a translator was present during the proceedings.
Police say the girl was stabbed at least twice inside the women’s washroom at the Pembina Valley Baptist Church following a service on Sunday.
In a statement on the church’s website, Sullivant says the teenager underwent surgery in Winnipeg following the attack, and is in stable condition.
Kravchenko is expected to meet with a psychiatrist before his case is back in a Winnipeg courtroom on Thursday.
The girl’s family tells CTV News the stabbing punctured her kidney, an artery, diaphragm and intestinal area, but she is recovering.
“Up in spirits. She was talking about how she remembered the whole thing and how everything transpired and felt,” her uncle Barry Wiebe said outside the courthouse on Tuesday.
Wiebe said the family’s faith has helped them cope with the ordeal.
“When we first saw her in the hospital it was very comforting to the family. Just the things she was saying was very comforting and how at peace she was,” he said.
Sullivant, who was the one to called 911 after the attack, said the girl was speaking after the stabbing and was expressing concern about other people in the vicinity.
Winkler is about 100 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.