As a child, Drakar Druella was raised a Catholic and also had been the victim of ritual abuse, so when he turned to a Portland, Ore., psychic last October looking for spiritual advice, he said, her strange requests made some sense.
First, she wanted $22,000 to buy a tabernacle from the Vatican that would rid the 42-year-old of "negative energy," he said. Then, over the course of seven weeks, he said, she asked him to buy a $46,000 Hummer and four Rolex watches totaling $38,000 -- all to help create a spiritual center.
But after his credit card debt soared to $150,000 and he said he saw her try to use the same religious ploy on two other women, he went to police. Druella has since filed for bankruptcy and said his credit has been ruined.
Stevens' lawyer said Druella is a person with "mental health issues" who is trying to "smear" her for things he did because he wanted to go into business with her.
As the investigation continues, who is the victim in this bizarre story: Druella, a transsexual bookkeeper with a troubled past, or Stevens, a fortune teller who believed her client was a willing business partner?
In January, police raided both Stevens' home and her psychic shop in the hip, southeast section of Portland and charged her with aggravated theft. After fingerprinting her and holding her for a few hours, she was released and charges were dropped pending further investigation.
"We still have other victims to come forward," said Portland Police Department Sgt. Sue Kruger, who refused to reveal more. "We want to look at the whole case together with all the charges rather than add things down the road."
The psychic has since closed her shop and, Kruger said, "As far as where Cathy Stevens is, I couldn't tell you that."
Druella, a transsexual who was born a woman, said he was only looking for "a few tidbits to direct me and comfort me and give me a sense of safety and security" when he went in to the Hawthorne Psychic Shop for a palm-reading last October.
"For lack of a better word, I had a midlife crisis," Druella said. "As a result of some soul-searching, I thought I would try to live as woman again after 20 years living as a man -- to go back. I was struggling at the time."
Druella said he had a "rough time" stopping testosterone, which he compared to a woman's hormonal response after a hysterectomy, and "coming out" again as a woman to his co-workers.
"I was looking for someone to give me a little sign or something," said Druella, who had previously seen other psychics and spiritual teachers. "I went into a tailspin. I didn't sleep well for eight months and I was fighting the flu.
"I had a desire for a loving figure and spiritual person in my life and [Stevens] really did play on that," Druella said. "I was really vulnerable."
Stevens, whom he described as dressed in a jean skirt and boots with her dark hair pulled back in a pony tail, "seemed like an average nice person."
"She didn't have any weird stuff, just metaphysical books on her shelf and pretty candles and incense, he said.
But in the course of their first conversation, which cost $265, Druella said Stevens "pressed upon a sensitive thread' -- his Catholic upbringing.