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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2009
AG’s SVP unit keeps home-invading sex predator behind bars

Wenatchee man once believed he had a radio-transmitting implant that told him to rape and kill women

OLYMPIA – Assistant Attorney General Jana Franklin with the AG’sSexually Violent Predator Unit has won a civil commitment case that prevents the release of a dangerous sexually violent predator into the community.

On Wednesday, Chelan County Superior Court Judge T.W. "Chip" Small agreed with the AG’s office that Troy Scott Peterson is a sexually violent predator who would present a danger to the community if released.

“Troy Peterson has a long history of despicable sexual violence, such as invading a woman’s home and raping her. Had our office not asked the court to civilly commit him, he would have been released in 2007,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said. “We’re pleased that Judge Small’s decision guarantees this brutal predator will remain confined on McNeil Island where his mental illness can be treated, and where he won’t pose a threat to our communities.”

Peterson, a paranoid schizophrenic who has been in and out of mental institutions since his early 20’s, committed three forcible sexual assaults over the last 20 years.  At trial Peterson was also found to suffer from a Paraphilia, a disorder that drives him to engage in nonconsensual sex with women.  Although it has been 12 years since Peterson was last released into the community, he admitted as recently as this month to ongoing rape fantasies.

Peterson has a rap sheet filled with violent incidents. As a teen, Peterson pled guilty to charges related to raping his 15-year-old cousin. In 1988, Peterson pled guilty to rape and burglary charges for breaking into a woman’s home and raping her in front of her 3-year-old daughter.  In 1997, Peterson was found not guilty by reason of insanity for attempting to rape his second cousin.

Documents filed by the AG’s office show that while behind bars, Peterson continued to engage in threatening, violent behavior. While serving time for rape in 1991, a nurse lodged a complaint about threatening statements and gestures made towards her by Peterson.  During an observation period in October 1991, Peterson was observed screaming profanely about committing a violent sex act against her.  It was during this period of incarceration that Peterson began to believe he had a radio transmitter implanted in his jaw that told him to rape and kill women.  These hallucinations would continue until approximately 1999.

While on community supervision police received a report that Peterson was harassing a female high school student; He was reported to have harassed a female dental clinic employee; and he began making harassing phone calls to another woman. Peterson was arrested in 1994 for fighting in a restaurant parking lot and for violating the conditions of his release by contacting one of his previous victims.

During the SVP trial, the AG’s office presented the testimony of a forensic psychologist who described Peterson’s mental disorders and how they made him “more likely than not” to reoffend if released to the community. During the five day trial, it was also revealed that Peterson placed personal advertisements in the local newspaper, seeking a “pretty Hispanic woman.”

The AGO has made the fight against sexually violent predators a high priority, including spearheading laws to create mandatory prison terms for crimes committed with sexual motivation, longer sentences for second-time offenders and extending the statute of limitations in cases where a suspect is identified through DNA testing.

This year the AG’s office requested, and the Legislature overwhelmingly passed, two pieces of legislation relating to sexually violent predators. One bill modifies the state’s SVP laws to streamline the civil commitment process. The other encourages participation in civil commitment trials by paying for counseling for out-of-state victims who testify.

The SVP Unit was established in 1990 following enactment of the state’s sexually violent predator law, which permits the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are likely to commit predatory acts of sexual violence if released to the community.
The unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception).

Links:

More about AG McKenna’s work protecting state residents from sexually violent predators may be found at http://www.atg.wa.gov/SVP/default.aspx.

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Contacts:

Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725


 

 


 

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