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Long-Awaited Trial Postponed in Klamath County Rape Case

The trial of a woman accused of fleeing Oregon for 18 years after being charged with the rape of a child may hinge on a dispute over her mental fitness, a statement from the DA's office indicates.

Posted: Nov. 30, 2018 4:30 PM
Updated: Nov. 30, 2018 4:50 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The trial of a woman accused of fleeing Oregon for 18 years after allegedly participating in the rape of a child may have to wait as the defense and prosecution assess her mental fitness, a statement from the Klamath County District Attorney's office indicates.

Victoria Cravitz and her husband, Leon Shaw, were charged for the rape of several children back in January of 2000. However, they were not located until 2018 — when authorities in Mississippi found and arrested Cravitz.

It was Shaw's death in a Mississippi hospital that clued authorities toward his true identity, as well as that of Cravitz, who had been living under an assumed name.

Since her arrest and extradition in August, Cravitz has been held in the Klamath County Jail with a trial date set for December 12, 2018.

Now, the DA's office says, the court has granted a continuance for the trial date as the defense and prosecution determine Cravitz's mental fitness.

"On November 28, 2018, defense counsel for Ms. Cravitz filed a Notice of Intent to Introduce Evidence of Disease or Defect in this case," District Attorney Eve Costello said in a statement.

In response, the prosecution is looking to an expert at the Oregon State Hospital to conduct their own psychological evaluation of Cravitz. The results of this evaluation, the DA's office said, will "inform the resolution of this matter."

"The District Attorney’s office believes Ms. Cravitz’s commitment is necessary for the protection of public safety," Costello said.

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