AG’s sex predator unit seeks to prevent release of Lewis County sex offender into community

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CHEHALIS — The Washington Attorney General’s Office filed a petition today in Lewis County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit a sex offender and prevent his release into the community.

Rupp Freece, 27, was convicted of first-degree burglary and third-degree rape. The state will need to prove the first-degree burglary was committed with sexual motivation. He has also been convicted of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Freece was due to be released August 10, 2018 but the Attorney General’s Office petitioned to have him committed, alleging that he is mentally ill and sexually dangerous. Today, a judge found probable cause to believe Freece is a sexually violent predator, a preliminary ruling which allows the state to detain him for further proceedings.

Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator law allows the state Attorney General’s Office  to petition for the civil commitment of violent sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.

The civil commitment petition consists of allegations that have not yet been proven in a court of law.  The State of Washington has the burden to prove the allegations in court.

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 AGO SVP unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception).

As of July 2018 270 sexually violent predators are in the state’s Special Commitment Program.

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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. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contacts:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; [email protected]