Residents looking to make laws tougher on convicted sex offenders will meet today with city officials, politicians and police at a church in north Spokane.
The meeting is being held in response to the murder of 9-year-old Rachel Carver, whose body was dumped in a cardboard box along the Spokane River last month.
Police arrested her uncle, Jason Wickenhagen, on a charge of first-degree murder after hundreds of residents joined in a county-wide search for the girl.
Wickenhagen, 23, is a convicted sex offender who was caring for Rachel with his wife, Rene Wickenhagen. He was arrested last summer on a charge of second-degree rape, which was later reduced to indecent liberties.
Wickenhagen hadn’t been sentenced for that crime when Rachel was killed and was still living at his home on North Ash.
Neighbor Julie Sellers said Rachel’s death could have been prevented if the state’s laws regarding sex offenders weren’t so lenient.
“We’re real concerned about this,” Sellers said. “Sex offenders should not be living with children. They shouldn’t have privileges. There shouldn’t be three strikes before sex offenders are out; there should be one.”
Sellers and other neighbors expect City Council members, state legislators, police officers, attorneys and school officials to attend the meeting.
It is open to the public.
“We want to get these laws changed, and we need support,” Sellers said. “This is our first step.”
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: MEETING On toughening sex offender laws, today at 11 a.m. at the Ridgeview Christian Center, 5610 N. Ash.