VANCOUVER — The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a petition today in Clark County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a sex offender and prevent his release to the community.
Charles Alfred Boling, 70, was convicted of two counts of first-degree child molestation in 1992 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Boling was released in 2014 on community custody in Vancouver but twice violated the conditions of his release and was returned to confinement to finish out his sentence.
Boling was due for release on August 8. The Attorney General’s Office petitioned to have him committed, alleging that he is mentally ill and sexually dangerous. Today, a judge found probable cause to believe Boling is a sexually violent predator, a preliminary ruling that allows the state to detain him for further proceedings.
Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator law allows the state Attorney General’s Office to petition for the civil commitment of violent sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
The civil commitment petition consists of allegations that have not yet been proven in a court of law. The State of Washington has the burden to prove the allegations in court.
In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they have served their criminal sentences. The Attorney General’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.
The SVP unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). Since July 2015, the unit has tried seven cases and won six civil commitments. One trial involved an offender who was found by the jury to not meet the criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.
As of July 2017, the state’s Special Commitment Program housed 230 sexually violent predators.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Interim Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; firstname.lastname@example.org