Monday, February 6, 2012

WA - Should a Wash. sex offender have gone free?

Original Article

As sad as it is, as long as human beings are alive, there will always been brutal crimes. You could pass a million laws, but in the end, it won't prevent some crazy lunatic from committing a crime, if that is their intent.


By PoliceOne Staff

A rape victim's first public interview since her 2004 sexual assault in 2004 calls into question why the offender who attacked her was in public at the time

SEATTLE — A rape victim's first public interview since her 2004 sexual assault starkly calls into question why the repeat offender who attacked her was given the OK to be released from prison.

Bernadette McDonald spoke to the Seattle Times, whose special report on "The Price of Protection," revealed how shortly after her rape, Curtis Thompson also attempted to kidnap two women and killed a woman in an elevator. Before that, he served time in prison for four rapes.

Near the end of that sentence, some recommended he be civilly committed rather than set free, calling him a danger to the public. When a person is civilly committed, they are sent to a facility where they cannot come into contact with potential victims.

According to the report, "a forensic psychologist persuaded King County jurors to set Curtis Thompson free" during his civil commitment trial. Dr. Theodore Donaldson testified that despite interviews in which Thompson admitted rape made him feel powerful, he thought Thompson was not likely to re-offend, deemed him to be "not a sexual sadist" who was ready to be released from prison.

"If I testified that someone was not likely to re-offend ... I would be looking at my methods," Attorney David Hackett, who handles sex-predator cases for the King County Prosecutor's Office, said at the knowledge of the crimes that occurred following Thompson's release. "The sad part is as much as we try to focus on locking up and providing treatment to the worst of the worst, sometimes those individuals slip through the system."

As the state mulls a harsher sex predator law, McDonald agrees that there is no straightforward way to prevent a future situation like hers.

"It would be easy for me to just say 'lock 'em all up,' and that's what I get from everyone around me. That they should have been locked up," McDonald said. "I know it's not that easy. I know we can't prevent everything but as a society we need to do something to protect innocent people."

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