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Detective sees merit in commitment

The Spokane police detective who was instrumental in arresting Kevin Coe in 1981 said Wednesday that he’s extremely glad state attorneys now are attempting to keep the convicted rapist locked up indefinitely.

“Especially for the benefit of the victims, and there were a lot of them here – some I suspect we never heard from,” said retired Detective Roy Allen.

He was assigned to investigate a string of unsolved, violent rapes on Spokane’s South Hill in the fall of 1980 after another major crimes detective retired.

Coe was arrested on March 10, 1981, and has been in custody since then after being convicted of rape. After serving his criminal sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, he was scheduled to be released “to the community” on Sept. 8.

But because of legal papers filed Wednesday, Coe is scheduled to be returned to a Spokane courtroom next Wednesday where state Attorney General Rob McKenna wants a judge to declare Coe a “violent sexual predator” and have him civilly committed indefinitely.

“I kind of thought they would come to that conclusion,” Allen said after hearing Wednesday that the attorney general’s office had filed the legal paperwork asking that Coe remain in state custody.

“I think Coe secretly might be a little glad, too,” Allen said. “I think he’s found a home in prison these last 25 years.

“Where could he go?” he asked. “What trade does he know? Who can he live with?”

The 68-year-old retired detective, who now spends most of his time fishing and working in his shop, said he doesn’t have to be convinced that Coe would continue to present a danger to society if released.

“In my opinion, he’s still the same predator he was back then because he hasn’t shown one ounce of remorse,” Allen said.

“He has never once admitted any of this,” Allen said. “He knows and we know he committed all those rapes. All he’s done is make up excuses and rationalize.

“Think of the victims in this thing,” Allen continued. “He’s got many, many victims. And remember, he told them, ‘Don’t go to the police or I’ll kill you.’ “

Former Spokane County Prosecutor Don Brockett, who prosecuted Coe, later was the target of a failed murder-for-hire plot hatched by the rapist’s mother, Ruth Coe.

“No, thanks,” Brockett said Wednesday when asked if he wanted to comment on the latest developments.