Snohomish County jury denies conditional release to Louis W. Brock
EVERETT — Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit successfully blocked the release of a convicted sex offender after a Snohomish County jury decided he should not be conditionally released into the community.
Louis W. Brock had petitioned for release from the State’s Special Commitment Center (SCC) on McNeil Island to a “less restrictive alternative” in the community. In the interest of public safety, prosecutors from Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit have been working since April 2015 to prevent Brock’s release.
“The Attorney General’s Office fights to ensure that dangerous offenders cannot threaten our communities,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “I’m especially proud of the entire prosecution team for their dedication to this case over the past year.”
Brock, 64, was found by a Snohomish County jury to be a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) in November of 1991 and was civilly committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center. Brock’s criminal history includes convictions for second-degree assault with intent to commit rape in 1970 and 1974 and first-degree attempted rape in 1985.
In April 2015, Brock requested and was granted a trial to determine whether he should be conditionally released from the SCC to a “less restrictive alternative.” Under conditional release, Brock would have remained under the jurisdiction of the Snohomish County Superior Court as a sexually violent predator, but he would have been allowed to live and receive treatment in a community setting under court-ordered conditions.
The trial began on July 5 and ended Monday with the jury’s decision that Brock must remain in total confinement. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Howe prosecuted the case for the state.
Under Washington’s civil commitment law, prosecutors had to demonstrate that Brock’s release plan was either not in his best interest or did not include conditions adequate to protect the public. The jury on Monday found that the state had proved both.
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 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 July 15, 2016, 283 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