A man arrested in Corvallis for kidnapping is undergoing treatment after being evaluated by a psychologist and found to be mentally unfit to stand trial, court records show.

Kevan Michael Rower, 56, has been committed to the Oregon State Hospital for treatment, according to documents filed Wednesday in Benton County Circuit Court.

Rower is charged with second-degree kidnapping for allegedly holding onto a developmentally disabled man and forcing him to walk around Corvallis for hours, according to police.

Rower was evaluated by a psychologist after his attorney, John Rich, expressed concerns over Rower’s ability to understand the nature of the proceedings against him.

“This is clearly a mental health case,” Rich said Thursday in court.

The psychologist produced a report based on the evaluation. In reviewing the report, Judge Matthew Donohue determined Rower was unfit to stand trial and was unsuitable for community release.

Rower should remain at the state hospital until the time, should it occur, that he gains the capacity to stand trial, court documents state. According to state law, Rower cannot remain in the custody of the state hospital for longer than three years.

Rich said his client is in jeopardy of losing the house he owns in Newport because he can’t pay the mortgage.

“I don’t think somebody should lose their home because they’re mentally ill,” he said.

Donohue set the case for a status check on Jan. 11.

Police arrested Rower on Oct. 18 after a woman called authorities to report she had been approached by two men acting erratically on the sidewalk near Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Officers contacted the two men at Northwest Walnut Boulevard and Northwest Elmwood Drive, a police report states. Rower would not allow police to speak with the alleged victim and was aggressively holding onto him and leading him from officers, according to the report.

Police had to physically fight with Rower to get him to let go of the alleged victim, the report states.

The alleged victim told police he was alone when he came into contact with Rower on Circle Boulevard, police said. The men did not previously know one another, according to police.

The alleged victim was a client of Benco, a local nonprofit organization that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, police said.

Lillian Schrock covers public safety for the Gazette-Times. She may be reached at 541-758-9548 or lillian.schrock@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at @LillieSchrock. 


Public Safety Reporter

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