Man gets lengthy prison term for stabbing teen in Manitoba church

WINKLER, Man. — A Manitoba man accused of seriously injuring a 15-year-old girl during what police said was an apparent random stabbing at a church has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Police in the southern community of Winkler say Maksym Kravchenko was sentenced March 7 following his conviction for aggravated assault.

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The court heard the girl was stabbed at least twice while she was inside the women's washroom after a Sunday service at the Pembina Valley Baptist Church in Winkler on Aug. 27, 2017.

Kravchenko, who is a Winkler resident, was later found by police in the church parking lot and arrested.

The girl’s family said the stabbing punctured the teen's kidney, an artery, diaphragm and intestinal area.

She has since recovered.

Kravchenko, who was 39 at the time of the attack, was also charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

A psychiatric assessment deemed him fit to stand trial.

Pastor Michael Sullivant previously told CTV News that Kravchenko speaks Russian and Ukrainian, but very little English. A translator was present during court proceedings.

Sullivant said the girl was able to speak shortly after the stabbing and was concerned about other people in the congregation.

He also said the church received calls of support from the Baptist community around the world.

Winkler Mayor Martin Harder said shortly after the stabbing that people expect places of worship to be safe.

"That's part of the tragedy. You don't expect this in a church. It doesn't happen," he said. (CTV Winnipeg)

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