Teen: Karate lessons helped fend off attacker

Teen: Karate lessons helped fend off attacker »Play Video
Leslie Givens

LACEY, Wash. --  A teenage girl says her karate training paid off as she fought off an attacker.

Kevin Stark, a level 2 sex offender, is accused of attacking the 16-year-old girl as she walked along a trail not far from her home.

Leslie Givens says as she walked, she passed a suspicious man, and the next thing she knew, she was hit on the head, knocked to the ground, and that man was on top of her.

"I think he was trying to make me stop screaming so I bit his fingers and that's about all he did because I was kicking him away and punching him," Givens said.


Kevin Stark
>She says she broke free and ran to some friends who called police. The attacker ran, but police believe he left his wallet behind. That's how they tracked down Stark.

Friday, he appeared at Thurston County Superior Court, accused of second degree assault with sexual motivation. He's being held on $500,000 bail.

Leslie's father says he had seen him in the area before.

"I'd seen him like five times, so I figured he might have been stalking her knowing that she walks by herself to meet her friends down the road," Brian Givens said.

If convicted, it would be Stark's second strike, and for sex offenders two strikes is a life sentence. 

"I hope he never goes out of there," Leslie Givens said.

Her father feared something like this might happen, so last month he enrolled her in Karate classes. The training paid off.

"I just kept kicking him and he just sat down and I kicked him the face and ran as fast as I could," she said. "I don't know.  I feel like a 'super hero.' "

Leslie Givens suffered a swollen eye, a bruised shoulder and a bump on her head, but was otherwise OK.

Stark is registered as a transient sex offender, meaning he has to check in every week, which he was doing of late. But detectives are now trying to figure if he was really living with his mother, which means he should have registered as living there -- and neighbors would have been told.