CHEHALIS — A Lewis County Superior Court judge entered an order of commitment Friday to civilly commit a sex offender after the Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a petition to remove him from community custody.
Blake Juan Garcia, 25, was convicted of child molestation in the first degree in 2010 and in the second degree in 2014. Garcia was in community custody in Lewis and King counties and had violated the terms of his release.
The Attorney General’s Office petitioned to have him committed, alleging that he is mentally ill and dangerous. A judge found probable cause to believe Garcia is a sexually violent predator. On Friday, Garcia entered into a stipulation that he is a sexually violent predator and will be held at the Special Commitment Center until further proceedings.
Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator law allows the state 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 proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
The civil commitment petition consists of allegations that have not yet been proven in a court of law. The State of Washington has the burden to prove the allegations in court.
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 sentences. 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). As of late July, there were 229 sexually violent predators in the state’s Special Commitment Program.
Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.email@example.com
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