Offender has been civilly committed since 2000
COUPVILLE — Prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit are attempting to prevent a sex offender from being conditionally released into the community in a civil trial this week in Coupeville on Whidbey Island.
Curtis Brogi, 48, was found by an Island County jury to be a Sexually Violent Predator in January of 2000 and was civilly committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center, now located on McNeil Island.
Brogi’s criminal history includes a conviction for second degree sexually motivated assault in 1997. He is now seeking conditional release from the Special Commitment center to a “less restrictive alternative” in the community.
Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) law allows the 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 likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
In order to grant release to a less restrictive alternative to total confinement, the court must find that the release is in the best interest of Brogi and that conditions can be put in place that will adequately protect the community.
“My office works hard to protect our communities from sexually violent predators,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “We will oppose the release into our neighborhoods of offenders who continue to present a danger to the community.”
The trial began on June 7 in Island County Superior Court and is expected to continue through next week.
In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they serve their criminal sentences. The AGO’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 2015, the unit tried 15 cases and won 10 civil commitments. Two trials ended in hung juries (meaning the offender remains detained pending a new trial), and three trials involved an offender who was found by the jury to not meet the criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.
As of May 26, 2016, 284 sexually violent predators are in the state’s Special Commitment Program.
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.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov