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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Pacific NW

Bill would block release of sex predators who refuse treatment

OLYMPIA – Sexually violent predators who don’t take part in prescribed treatment could not be released from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island under a bill approved overwhelmingly by the House.

When they are released into community custody, a judge would first consider sending them back to the county where they were convicted, another bill the House approved says.

People who post intimate images of someone else on the Internet without their permission, called “revenge porn,” could be convicted of a felony, under a third bill the House passed Friday.

The bills were among more than two dozen that moved through the House Friday, mostly with large margins of victory.

Two separate bills call for more restrictions on sexually violent predators who are determined to have a high likelihood of committing more crimes and placed in a special center after their criminal sentences are served.

Earlier this year, an Asotin County woman told a House committee her daughter and other victims of convicted rapist Monte Hoisington live in fear because he was released from McNeil Island and lives in North Idaho.

“He’s out and he doesn’t have to do anything,” Sharon Clizer said of Hoisington. “Criminals have all the rights. Victims get nothing but pain.”

Under the bill, a patient at McNeil who chooses not to participate in an annual interview to determine if he warrants release could not have his own expert testify at a release hearing. Rep. Susan Fagan, R-Pullman, the prime sponsor of the bill, said it was requested by the state attorney general’s office.

Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, said it would ensure sexual predators “can’t game the system.” They should receive real treatment at McNeil, not just be there, he said.

Under a separate bill, judges who release a sexual predator from the McNeil Island center would first consider sending him to the county from which he was committed. The state would notify county officials if the predator is being sent to a different county. The House unanimously approved a bill that would ban posting intimate images of another person on the Internet if that image was obtained when “a reasonable person” would understand “the image was to remain private.” Any such posting could result in a felony conviction for adults, but cases against juveniles would require proof that it was posted “intentionally and maliciously.”

All the bills now go to the Senate.

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