Jury deems rapist unfit for release

THURSDAY, NOV. 8, 2012

A convicted child rapist who also preyed on prostitutes and used to work as a “stunt man” in sexually explicit movies likely will spend the rest of his life locked up as a violent sex predator, a Spokane jury decided Wednesday.

James A. McMahan, 51, of Spokane, was described by authorities as having a mental abnormality that makes him likely to reoffend if he is released from state custody. The state attorney general’s office asked that he be indefinitely confined under civil commitment statutes designed to keep sexually violent predators off the streets after they’ve completed their prison terms.

“Mr. McMahan is an unusual and highly dangerous sexual predator,” Assistant Attorney General Malcolm Ross said Tuesday. “He poses an extraordinary risk both to children and adults.”

McMahan has been in state custody since fulfilling his prison term for a 1999 conviction for first-degree rape of a child.

He also pleaded guilty to raping three prostitutes in 1986 in California as part of a plea agreement in which 15 prostitutes claimed that he had raped them while he threatened them with a hatchet. Authorities contend he’s been beating and sexually abusing girls and women since 1976.

“His sex offending has consumed him” Ross said. “It has been the focus of his life for several decades.”

In court documents, McMahan said he had worked in pornographic films for eight years, working as a “stunt man,” Ross said.

Defense attorney Marla Polin did not defend McMahan’s actions. Instead, she unsuccessfully argued that the state failed to establish that McMahan – who has diabetes and uses a walker – would seek out more victims if released.

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