By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – A Lewis County judge yesterday signed an order meaning Steven Moulton of Morton will likely be held indefinitely at Western State Hospital instead of going to trial for an alleged assault of an 8-year-old boy in a public restroom.
At the prosecutor’s request, Moulton was found incompetent to stand trial and the charges were dismissed, according to Deputy Prosecutor Shane O’Rourke.
They will petition for Moulton to be civilly committed to the state hospital because he is a danger to the community, O’Rourke said.
Moulton is currently in the care of Western State, O’Rourke said.
The then-21-year-old was charged a year ago in connection with a summer 2010 incident in which he allegedly crawled under the closed door of an occupied bathroom stall where a child said he covered his mouth and punched him twice. It happened in Gust Backstrom Park in Morton.
Moulton was charged in Cowlitz County for a similar incident this summer in Castle Rock, and found to be developmentally disabled, a condition that can’t be fixed with medicine, according to O’Rourke.
The Cowlitz County Prosecutor’s Office challenged the finding but were not successful, O’Rourke said.
It’s a permanent condition, O’Rourke said.
“We came to the conclusion whether we like it or not, we’re not going to get the court to find him competent,” O’Rourke said. “Here, we did not challenge the competency finding.”
O’Rourke said in all likelihood, Moulton will be civilly committed and then reviewed every six months to see if he is no longer a danger and might be released.
Moulton had once before in Lewis County been found not competent in a criminal case related to a developmental disability.
His Lewis County cases were dismissed yesterday with prejudice, meaning the prosecutor could refile the charge at a future date.