SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna supported an important Washington State Supreme Court decision upholding an order to commit a convicted sex predator whose victims included children and a developmentally delayed woman.
The decision concerns the commitment of Raymond Marshall. Marshall, 34, has a six-year history of convictions for abusing four victims and has admitted to additional victims. He is confined to a state-operated institution on McNeil Island for sexual predators who have completed their prison sentences.
“Raymond Marshall's criminal history, his mental condition, and his propensity to prey upon the most vulnerable members of society to gratify his own sexual desires were proven beyond a reasonable doubt at trial,” Attorney General Rob McKenna said.
“Assistant Attorney General Krista Bush deserves tremendous praise for her work on this case,” McKenna continued. ”Yesterday’s court decision is important because it keeps a dangerous predator off the streets and could influence other cases now pending in the courts that concern the commitment of sexually violent predators.”
In November 2000, the state Attorney General’s Office petitioned for Marshall’s civil commitment as he was approaching the end of a prison term for a third-degree rape conviction involving a Clark County case. The commitment was ordered following a Superior Court trial in January 2003 and upheld by the Court of Appeals.
Existing law maintains that if the respondent is incarcerated for a "sexually violent offense" or a "recent overt act" the state does not have to prove a further "recent overt act" occurred beyond a reasonable doubt in order for the court to grant a petition to commit.
The defense argued that the third-degree rape conviction did not constitute an overt act and Marshall’s previous offenses were not recent.
In an opinion written by Justice Barbara Madsen, the Supreme Court determined that the question of whether a prior conviction qualifies as a recent overt act is a decision to be made by the trial court, not a jury.
Specifically, the court’s opinion recognizes the authority of the trial court to determine that Marshall’s threat to the community need not be proven by a recent overt act if he was incarcerated for an act that either caused harm of a sexually violent nature or creates a reasonable apprehension of such harm, given his prior history and mental condition.
The court also rejected Marshall’s challenge to the expert testimony of Dr. Amy Phenix and held that both her evaluation of Marshall’s mental state and her testimony concerning that evaluation were appropriate.
Marshall’s criminal history includes the following convictions in Clark County:
March 1990 – Marshall pled guilty to one count of first-degree child molestation and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes. According to court documents, he molested a 6-year-old girl and propositioned an 11-year-old boy for sex in December 1989. He was sentenced to 27 months.
October 1992 – Marshall pled guilty to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. According to court documents, conditions of his placement from the 1990 conviction prohibited him from contact with children. However, he obtained work at the Clark County Fairgrounds operating kids’ rides. While employed there in August 1992, he molested a 9-year-old girl. An additional charge of first-degree child molestation was dropped and Marshall was sentenced to 16 months.
1995 – Marshall was found in violation of his community placement conditions after he approached two 11-year-old girls and offered them cigarettes.
March 1996 – Marshall was convicted of third-degree rape. According to court documents, he had intercourse with a 21-year-old developmentally delayed woman without her consent in November 1995. He was sentenced to 60 months.
Media Contacts: Krista Bush, Assistant Attorney General, (206) 389-3075, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, (206) 464-6432, email@example.com