- Associated Press - Monday, August 1, 2016

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A man charged with kidnapping and raping a 4-year-old girl on a Montana Indian Reservation stopped taking his prescribed anti-psychotic medication before the alleged attack and does not remember the events, according to his defense attorney.

Raising the possibility of an insanity defense, Assistant Federal Defender Henry “Hank” Branom asked for a mental health evaluation for 21-year-old John William Lieba II to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris granted the request in a Monday order, committing Lieba for up to 30 days to an unspecified mental hospital for examination by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.

Authorities say Lieba abducted the girl while she was playing in a park at night in the town of Wolf Point on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and held her for ransom.

A grand jury indictment filed in June said he engaged in a sex act with the girl and assaulted her.

The girl was found by a Roosevelt County sheriff’s deputy on Feb. 28, two days after she disappeared and just a few miles from where she was reportedly abducted.

Lieba, of Wolf Point, was apprehended while the search for the girl was ongoing.

Authorities have released few other details in the case, including where Lieba allegedly held the girl and what sort of ransom he demanded.

Lieba has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of kidnapping someone under 18, aggravated sexual abuse and assault resulting in serious bodily injury on someone under 18. He could face life in prison and up to $750,000 in fines if convicted on all counts.

Lieba has received mental health treatment from the Indian Health Service, Branom said, but it’s not clear when that treatment occurred or what it was for.

“Mr. Lieba has expressed concern about his mental faculties and his ability to assist in his defense,” Branom wrote in his request for the mental exam. Staff members of the federal defenders office have voiced similar concerns, the defense attorney said.

Prosecutors did not oppose the mental exam request.

Morris’ approval means Lieba’s scheduled Aug. 29 jury trial will probably be delayed.

Related charges have been filed against Lieba in Fort Peck Tribal Court.

That case is on hold pending the outcome of the federal case.

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