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Jury denies release of repeat sex offender

Scott R. Halvorson in 2012. (Washington State Department of Corrections)
Scott R. Halvorson in 2012. (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Scott R. Halvorson, 54, is a Level III sex offender

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story gave the wrong resolution for a 2007 rape case involving Scott Halvorson due to a reporter’s error. This story has been updated to include the correct resolution.

A Spokane jury this week denied the release of a 54-year-old man with a history of violent sex crimes, the Washington state Attorney General’s Office said Friday.

Scott Halvorson was sentenced to four years in prison for the assault and rape of a woman in Spokane County in 2007, according to court records. He was scheduled for release in August 2012, but the Washington Attorney General’s Office fought that release based on his history of violent sexual offenses, according to a news release.

Halvorson was arrested on suspicion of indecent liberties after investigators say he lured a 4-year-old girl into his Spokane County apartment in 1987, when he was 26 years old. Before he was to be sentenced in that case, Halvorson broke into an apartment and raped a 10-year-old girl at knifepoint, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in that case and was sentenced to a little more than 11 years in prison.

Halvorson moved to Nine Mile Falls in 2001, according to news reports. His court records show minimal further criminal history until 2007, when investigators say he attacked a woman in her Spokane County home. Halvorson later was found guilty of rape and assault in that case and was sent to prison for a four-year sentence.

Halvorson was due for release two years ago, but the state filed to keep him in civil commitment on McNeil Island in Western Washington, a facility designed to treat former inmates with mental health issues who have served their prison sentences.

A nine-day trial ended in a Spokane County courtroom earlier this week. The jury concluded that Halvorson was a sexually violent predator, who posed a significant risk to the community if not kept in protective custody.

Halvorson will receive annual reviews by mental health professionals to determine whether he continues to be a sexually violent predator under legal definitions. If he is determined no longer to be a threat to the community, those who evaluate him may file a petition for his release, according to state law.