Mental competency exam ordered for man accused of kidnapping and sexual assault
EL CAJON (CNS) – A mental competency examination was ordered Tuesday for a transient parolee facing kidnapping and rape charges stemming from the alleged abduction and sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl and a similar attack on a woman in East County.
El Cajon Judge John Thompson suspended criminal proceedings in the case against David Joseph Lascelles when the defendant's attorney, Thomas Ziegler, said he doubted his client's ability to understand the charges and assist him at trial.
Lascelles, 49, will return to court April 15 after being examined by doctors.
Sheriff's investigators allege the defendant got together with the 15- year-old alleged victim the morning of Dec. 6 on the pretense of taking her Christmas shopping.
After the two arrived at a Walmart store in unincorporated El Cajon, Lascelles allegedly pulled a pistol on the girl, took her cell phone and forced her to lie on the floor of his Mitsubishi Eagle.
He then took the El Cajon resident to the Fiesta Island area of Mission Bay, where he sexually assaulted her and held her captive for several hours, Sgt. Justin White alleged.
About 4 p.m., Lascelles drove to Alpine and dropped the teenager off at the home of one of her relatives, according to White, who said the girl immediately reported the alleged crimes.
The next day, members of a fugitive task force caught up with the suspect at a business in the 1200 block of Imperial Avenue in the East Village district of downtown San Diego and took him into custody without incident.
Lascelles, who met the teen last year through one of her family members, has served prison time for kidnapping and burglary convictions, according to White. Lascelles apparently had been living in his vehicle for some time, the sergeant said.
Prosecutors said Lascelles also is charged in connection with a similar assault on a woman in El Cajon.
Lascelles faces a maximum of 142 years to life if convicted, according to prosecutors.