LOS ANGELES — A man arrested last year on suspicion of stalking actress Jennifer Garner and her husband, actor Ben Affleck, was found not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday, and ordered to stay away from the couple and their two children for 10 years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader made her ruling based on reports from two psychiatrists who examined Steven Richard Burky and concluded that he was legally insane, according to Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall.
The judge ordered the 37-year-old defendant to be sent to Patton State Hospital, and issued a restraining order requiring Burky to stay at least 500 yards away from Garner, Affleck and their two children, Segall said.
The finding came shortly after Burky pleaded no contest to two felony counts of stalking, the prosecutor said.
Burky was arrested Dec. 14 at a nursery school in the 1200 block of Alley One, at the rear of the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, according to police. Violet Affleck, one of the two daughters of Garner and Affleck, attends the school.
Garner was granted a restraining order against Burky in November 2008, after telling a judge she feared for her life and that of her family. She alleged that Burky had been stalking her since 2002 and was becoming more and more threatening.
According to her court papers, Burky once told her “God had sent him a vision of her being persecuted in some manner that may result in her death.”
The restraining order required Burky to remain at least 100 yards away from Garner and her family.
A non-appearance progress report is scheduled June 28 at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles.