July 07, 2005

Pastor To Be Evaluated Before Facing Trial

The Connection

By Ken Moore
July 6, 2005

Rafael Arteaga, an associate pastor charged with forcible sodomy of a 4-year-old girl, will be evaluated to determine his competency to stand trial.
"They are killing me with poison. I'll be dead when I come back," Arteaga said in English, as he was led, handcuffed, out of Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Friday, July 1.
"I didn't know the food was that bad," said a sheriff's deputy, after Arteaga was out of the courtroom.
But Arteaga did not appear to be joking, and his defense attorneys, Karin Kissiah and Jeff Overand, requested that their 58-year-old client have a psychological evaluation. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Ben'Ary had no objection.
"We have to get this resolved before we go forward," Ben'Ary said, during the hearing before Judge Teena D. Grodner which lasted less than 10 minutes.
Fairfax County Police arrested Arteaga, an associate pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, in Springfield, on Monday, June 13.

Posted by kshaw at July 7, 2005 02:07 PM