David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sac Bee Special Report: Sex Predators evading treatment

Many violent molesters and rapists sent to a state mental facility are being freed with few restrictions after refusing therapy

By Mareva Brown and Sam Stanton

A decade ago, as California was gripped with outrage over the release of a notorious rapist from prison, the state took bold action.

Legislators vowed to keep the highest-risk sex offenders locked up for years after completing their prison sentences. They were to be sent to a maximum-security psychiatric facility - Atascadero State Hospital - for a strict, five-stage treatment program.

California's solution was considered among the nation's toughest.

But the program has a fatal flaw, a six-month investigation by The Bee has found, because there is a much easier way out of Atascadero, one chosen by the vast majority of sexually violent predators housed there: Refuse treatment and bank on winning release through the court hearing each offender receives every two years.

That loophole makes California's get-tough solution in practice one of the most lenient sexually violent predator laws in the nation.

It is precisely how 54 rapists and child molesters won release through the end of 2005 from their Atascadero commitments, according to a review of court records and interviews with dozens of prosecutors, law enforcement officers and sexually violent predators in California, Oregon, Arizona, Missouri and Colorado. Only four men have completed the five-step program, and one of those was returned to custody less than two months after his release.

To be declared a sexually violent predator and sent to Atascadero, offenders must have at least two sex-crime convictions, and prosecutors must convince a court that they are likely to re-offend if released directly from prison.

But there is no guarantee that the offenders will remain in Atascadero.

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