Not yet out of handcuffs, convicted child molester Ronald Reo Timm turned to his attorney Wednesday as jurors prepared to announce their verdict. “I’m hoping for the best, but expecting the worst,” Timm told attorney Tim Trageser.
The jury lived up to Timm’s expectations.
It unanimously decided that the state had proved that Timm, 59, is a sexually violent predator, which essentially means the man who admitted molesting 24 children between the ages of 3 and 7 will be kept in a secure state facility for the rest of his life.
“Thank God he is off the streets,” said the grandmother of one of Timm’s victims. “But this isn’t going to stop the hurt that all these kids have gone through.”
On Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Tricia Boerger delivered the closing arguments in the trial that revealed how Timm would work his way into broken homes and groom young mothers so he could molest their children after they went to sleep.
“He is a predator,” Boerger said of Timm. “He preys on young girls to satisfy his sexual desires.”
Trageser, who has unsuccessfully defended a handful of sexually violent predator cases, said the state used its own treatment of Timm as the key evidence to keep him locked up for life.
“This has always been the problem I see with the (civil commitment) process,” he said. “It puts inmates in a troubling position. Do they get treatment to stop this activity or do they not engage in treatment for fear the state will file an SVP case? That move to help himself just killed (Timm) in this proceeding.”
A jury convicted Timm in 1989 of attempted statutory rape and then again in 1996 for first-degree rape of a child. While in prison, Timm told a counselor that he molested 24 children. Of those, 23 were girls and a couple of his victims were part of his immediate family.
Before Timm was released in 2006, state attorneys filed their intent to civilly commit him as a sexually violent predator; he had remained in custody pending the trial.
Just after the verdict, the aunt of two of Timm’s victims called her niece. She had been called to testify but broke down on the witness stand. Seeing Timm rekindled the painful experiences she lived through as a little girl.
“I’m still shaking,” the aunt said. “He’s never going to be able to hurt anyone else. It’s finally over.”
Timm, however, filed a motion to immediately appeal the jury decision. In the interim, he will be sent to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island, which is home to several other sex predators including South Hill rapist Kevin Coe.
Sharlene Oakes is the godmother to the same two girls who are related to the aunt. Oakes said the girls chose to tell her when they came forward with what Timm had done to them as children.
“I’ve never seen a little girl so full of hate in my life,” she said. “I promised the girls … that anytime he went to court that I’d be right there,” Oakes said. “Thank God I won’t have to hound him anymore. I’m hopeful now girls can finally have some closure.”