TACOMA — Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit will be in Tacoma next week opposing the conditional release of convicted sex offender Jerrod Stoudmire into the community.
Stoudmire, 51, has been convicted of two counts of second-degree rape of a child, one count of first-degree statutory rape, and three counts of indecent liberties against a child under age 14. He was found to be a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) in June 2013, and was civilly committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
He is now seeking conditional release into the community as a less restrictive alternative to confinement in the secure facility on McNeil Island.
Washington’s SVP law allows the 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 likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
In order to grant conditional release, the court must find that the release is in the best interest of Stoudmire and that conditions can be put in place that will adequately protect the community.
“My office is dedicated to protecting our communities from sexually violent predators,” Ferguson said. “When the evidence shows an offender is still a danger, my team will work to ensure that person remains confined and receiving the treatment they need.”
The trial begins on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 in Pierce County Superior Court and is expected to continue the rest of the 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 Dec. 30, 2015, 287 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