EVERETT — The Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit will oppose the conditional release of a convicted sex offender in a civil trial this week in Everett.
Louis W. Brock, 64, was found by a Snohomish County jury to be a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) in November 1991, and he was civilly committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center, now located on McNeil Island.
Brock’s criminal history includes convictions for assault in the second degree with intent to commit rape in 1970 and 1974, and attempted first-degree rape in 1985. He is now seeking conditional release from the Special Commitment center to a “less restrictive alternative” in the community.
“The Attorney General’s Office strives to protect our communities from sexually violent predators. We will continue to fight to ensure that dangerous offenders cannot threaten our communities,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
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 release to a less restrictive alternative to total confinement, the court must find that the release is in the best interest of Brock and that conditions could be put in place that will adequately protect the community.
The trial began on July 5 in Snohomish 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 June 17, 2016, 286 sexually violent predators are in the state’s Special Commitment Center 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