July 12, 2013 in City

After release, rapist can view legal porn

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A convicted rapist will be allowed to view all the legal pornography he wants if he ever gets out of prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a Spokane park more than three years ago, appeals court judges ruled Thursday.

Louis V. Kuster, 25, was convicted in November 2011 of second-degree rape after investigators used DNA to link him to the previously unsolved sexual assault of a girl that occurred Jan. 1, 2010, in Patrick Byrne Park near NorthTown Mall.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen O’Connor sentenced him to 9 ½ years to life in prison and told Kuster he could “not view or possess pornography in any form” after his release.

But Kuster appealed the pornography restriction and $800 in court-imposed fees to the Division III Court of Appeals. Three judges upheld the fees but agreed Thursday to send the case back to O’Connor to have her clarify or eliminate the pornography ban because it was “unconstitutionally vague,” Judge Laurel Siddoway wrote.

Deputy Spokane County Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald, who did not prosecute the case, said based on her understanding of the case law, the judge can only restrict Kuster from viewing illegal material such as child pornography.

The pornography appeal is the latest development in a case that started with the Jan. 1, 2010, assault in the park at 125 E. Walton Ave. Investigators obtained DNA evidence from the victim, but the case remained unsolved for almost a year.

In the meantime, Kuster was convicted of possession of stolen property and was ordered to submit a DNA sample. It came back as a match to DNA evidence from the assault victim.

Kuster had received sex offender treatment as a teenager after he was accused of sexually harassing and inappropriately touching four girls while attending middle school in Stevens County. He pleaded guilty to four counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation in 2002 and served two years probation.

He’ll serve a minimum 114 months in prison on the more recent second-degree rape charge. After that, Kuster will go before a state review board, which could decide to keep him locked up for life.


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