Judge Denies Second Motion by Defense to Provide Mental Health Counseling

By Ava Schwartzapfel  

RIVERSIDE, CA – A motion for mental health diversion for Stevy Galvan was formally denied by Judge Otis Sterling this Tuesday at the Larson Justice Center in Riverside County Superior Court.

The judge simply stated he didn’t believe Galvan had mental health problems. 

The defense had previously filed such a motion but Deputy District Attorney Lauren Donovan objected. 

Galvan’s defense team, led by Assistant Public Defender Jeffrey Economides, had filed this second motion with the hope of getting the defendant the treatment they think he requires—to no avail.  

Galvan, present and out of custody, was originally brought in on charges of indecent exposure and false imprisonment. However this hearing was strictly regarding his eligibility for a Mental Health Diversion program.  

DDA Donovan remains insistent that this program is not right for this defendant. 

Her primary point was that Galvan has yet to be indicted on these specific charges, stating that someone should not be doing such a program if they may not even be, or are not, guilty. 

The second argument, she noted, is that it is not confirmed that the defendant even needs mental health counseling or treatment and believes that he would not benefit from such a program. 

Donovan added any evidence, or lack thereof, that the prosecution has encountered since the last court date has only enforced her firm belief that this is not an appropriate or suitable resolution of this case.  

In response to these points that the prosecution laid down, defense counsel Economides restated his reasoning for promoting Mental Health Diversion for his client. 

He said the purpose for increased diversion for individuals with mental health disorders is to mitigate their entry and re-entry to the court system, and eventually protect society. Based on these stances, the defense stated, Galvan is an appropriate candidate for this program.  

After a relatively brief but intense procession of events, Judge Sterling stated that he was not persuaded that the defendant has a mental health condition and, based on these facts, is not a suitable candidate for a Mental Health Diversion program.

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