FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2013
Stevenson, Wash. — The Washington Attorney General’s Office today filed a petition in Skamania County Superior Court alleging a Skamania County sex offender is a sexually violent predator who should be confined indefinitely.
Matthew Hopkins, 28, is scheduled to be released from prison on Nov. 16. Assistant Attorney General Tricia Boerger alleges Hopkins has a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes him likely to reoffend if he is released from prison.
Under state law, if Hopkins is found to be a sexually violent predator, he will be held at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeill Island and subject to an annual review.
“The attorneys in the AG’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit help protect our communities by keeping these dangerous offenders confined,” said Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
Hopkins pleaded guilty to one count of Child Molestation in the First Degree for sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl when he was between 11 and 13 years old. He was sentenced to 15 to 36 weeks in the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration.
When he was 16 years old, he admitted to repeated sexual assaults against a nine-year-old boy. He was tried as an adult and again pleaded guilty to one count of Child Molestation in the First Degree. In 2002, he was sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison and a minimum of three years of community custody.
In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they have served their criminal sentences. The Attorney General’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.
The law allows the state to civilly commit to a secure facility sexually violent predators who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined.
The AGO SVP Unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). In Fiscal Year 2013, the unit tried 19 cases, won 16 civil commitments and secured one recommitment. One trial ended in a hung jury and one offender was found by a jury not to meet criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.
As of September 2013, approximately 293 sexually violent predators are civilly committed in Washington state.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Contacts: Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725
Alison Dempsey-Hall, Deputy Communications Director, (206) 641-1335