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June 19, 2006
AG’s SVP Unit Prevents Okanogan County Predator From Release

OLYMPIA - The Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit recently won a civil commitment case in Okanogan County Superior Court, preventing one of the state’s most sexually violent predators from returning to society.

On Tuesday, June 13, after less than three hours of deliberation, a jury in found John Hampton, 64, met the definition of a sexually violent predator and ordered civil commitment to a secure facility. Hampton was convicted of numerous sexual offenses against children and young teens, including the most recent in 1995. He also has an extensive history of parole violations and revocations.

“His documented inability to control his behavior while in the community supports a finding that he requires confinement in a secure facility in order to protect the public," said Senior Counsel Sarah Sappington, head of the Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit.

Hampton will be held indefinitely in total confinement at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. He may not be released either until his condition has so changed that he no longer meets the definition of a sexually violent predator, or until the court orders his conditional release to a less restrictive alternative placement.

The Attorney General’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit petitioned to have 24 offenders civilly committed in 2005, 25 percent more than in 2004. Of those 24 offenders, the Attorney General’s Office sought to civilly commit in 2005 sexually assaulted a total of 212 victims with an average age of 12.

The offenders were convicted of a total of 85 sex offenses, including 60 "sexually violent" or serious hands-on offenses. Offenders ranged in age from 12 to 63 years old and they came from 11 Washington counties, eight other states and several foreign countries.

In addition, in 2005, the AGO succeeded in civilly committing 19 offenders as sexually violent predators. This is the highest number of offenders the AGO has ever committed in one calendar year.

Based on the unit’s recommendations, McKenna requested and passed a package of sex offender legislation to further protect children and others against sex predators.

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Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725

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