OLYMPIA—Assistant Attorneys General Brooke Burbank and Kristie Barham with the AG’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit won a civil commitment case that prevents the unconditional release of a dangerous sexually violent predator into the community.
Late Tuesday, January 27, Clark County Superior Court Judge Roger Bennett ruled that Keith Elmore will remain confined at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. Elmore, 52, was convicted in 1995 of assault and kidnapping with sexual motivation. Elmore has long described his sexually-motivated, cannibalistic fantasies.
Had he been granted release, Elmore would have only had to serve just over a year of supervision before being totally free of any kind of monitoring.
“Keith Elmore hasn’t responded to treatment and if released, poses a grave threat to the community,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “Sadistic criminals like Elmore are the reason we’ve worked to strengthen protections from sexual predators—and why we’re continuing that fight today.”
This year the AG’s office has requested two pieces of legislation relating to sexually violent predators. One bill modifies the state’s SVP laws to streamline the civil commitment process. The other encourages participation in civil commitment trials by paying for counseling for out-of-state victims who testify.
The AGO has made the fight against sexually violent predators a high priority, including spearheading laws to:
- Create mandatory prison terms for crimes committed with sexual motivation, including a minimum one-year sentence for Class C felonies, double enhancements for second-time offenders and a clarification that enhancements can be added to misdemeanors as well.
- Strengthen the sex offender registration statute.
- Extend the statute of limitations in cases where a suspect is identified through DNA testing.
The SVP Unit was established in 1990 following enactment of the state’s sexually violent predator law, which permits the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are likely to commit predatory acts of sexual violence if released to the community.
The unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception).
More about AG McKenna’s work protecting state residents from sexually violent predators may be found at http://www.atg.wa.gov/SVP/default.aspx.
Find out more about the AG McKenna’s legislative agenda at http://www.atg.wa.gov/2009Legislation.aspx.
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725