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Serial rapist who challenged state’s commitment law to be released, move to Tacoma

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on July 7, 2010 at 10:52 am |
July 7, 2010 12:47 pm

A serial rapist who battled Washington’s sex offender commitment law to the U.S. Supreme Court was released from the Special Commitment Center today and plans to live in Tacoma, authorities report.

Andre Brigham Young, 70, has been civilly committed to the state’s facility for violent sex offenders since October 1990┬áMarch 4, 1991.

Young was released this morning into the custody of his attorneys, Special Commitment Center spokesman Thomas Shapley said.

He was due to be tried again this summer to renew his commitment, but prosecutors decided to forego the trial when it became clear that psychological experts had concluded he no longer was a danger to re-offend, according to a press release issued this morning by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Young did not complete any treatment programs while held at the center, Shapley said.

Instead, they agreed to his release with a number of conditions, a violation of which can result in his re-commitment. They include prohibitions against viewing pornography, soliciting adult-entertainment establishments and committing any offense against a female, including harassing, stalking or threatening them.

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a news release today that Young’s case is an example of the way the law is supposed to work.

“This law provides treatment for sex offenders within a secure setting that protects the public,” Satterberg said. “The detention is based on a medical model and is supposed to last until the subject is no longer considered likely to re-offend.”

Shapley said the Special Commitment Center staff was not consulted about the decision to release Young.

It was unclear this morning where in Tacoma Young plans to live. A former resident of the city, he told his lawyers he planned to move back here if released.

Young became the second person to be committed to the state’s Special Commitment Center after completing a prison term for the last of six rape convictions over a 31-year period.

Five men have earned their unconditional release from the facility in the last 20 years after completing sex offender treatment programs, Shapley said.

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