Attorney General’s Office prevents community release of violent predator
OLYMPIA — In a case being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit, a repeat sex offender has acknowledged that he is a danger to the community and will be civilly committed to the State’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
The civil commitment trial of Jerry Mullins, 40, began last week in Lewis County Superior Court. In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from the Attorney General’s SVP Unit were fighting to prevent Mullins’ release into the community.
Mullins was convicted of Rape of a Child in the First Degree in 1989 and Statutory Rape in the 1st degree in 1990. In 2008, Mullins was convicted of an additional sex offense involving a child. He was originally scheduled for release in June 2013, before the Attorney General’s Office filed for his civil commitment. Since then, Mullins has been confined at McNeil Island awaiting trial.
The trial began on Friday, July 18, 2014, and ended that same day with a Stipulation Order, agreed to by Mullins, acknowledging that he meets the legal definition of a Sexually Violent Predator.
“The Attorney General’s Office works hard to protect our communities from sexually violent predators,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) law allows the state Attorney General’s Office (AGO) 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.
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 sentence. The Attorney General’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.
The AGO SVP unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). In Fiscal Year 2014, the unit tried 14 cases, won 9 civil commitments and secured one recommitment. Three trials ended in hung juries and one trial involved an offender who didn’t meet the criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.
Alison Dempsey-Hall, Acting Communications Director, (206) 641-1335