WALLA WALLA — Prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit are appearing in Walla Walla County Superior Court opposing the conditional release of convicted sex offender Justin Mackey into the community.
Mackey, 36, was found to be a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) in June 2008 and was civilly committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. His criminal sexual history includes convictions in 1993 for three counts of Rape of a Child in the first degree.
Mackey now seeks conditional release into the community, as a less restrictive alternative to confinement in the secure SCC facility.
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 Mackey and that conditions can be put in place that will adequately protect the community.
The trial began on Sept. 22 and is expected to continue the rest of the month.
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 Attorney General’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.
Washington’s 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.
The SVP unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). In Fiscal Year 2016, the unit tried nine cases and won seven civil commitments. Two trials ended in acquittals, meaning the offenders were found to not meet the criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.
As of Aug. 8, 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