Benton Co. Judge to Decide if Dangerous Sexual Predator Will Be Released
The Washington State Attorney General's office is attempting to block the pending release of a inmate who is described as a possible "sexually violent predator" (SVP).
The case surrounds 56-year-old Stephen Robinson who was convicted of two violent sexual assaults on young girls in Benton County in 1984, and another in Denver in 1999. He is in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary for parole violations for the 1984 crime.
He is set to be released Friday, July 26, but Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a petition in Benton County to find probable cause that Robinson meets the criteria for being a SVP. According to Ferguson's office, the evidence supporting the petition is shocking:
Robinson acknowledged to the SVP evaluator having more than 100 victims in total and indicated to the evaluator he would seek out and attack other young girls if released."
According to PR Officer Janet Guthrie of the AG office:
If the judge finds probable cause to believe Robinson is a sexually violent predator, Robinson will be served in prison and transported to Benton County for a contested probable cause hearing. If probable cause is found in that hearing, Robinson will be transported to the Special Commitment Center pending trial.
If he is found to meet the SVP criteria, it would effectively prevent him from being released into society. Since its inception in 1990, the SVP program has resulted in 296 such offenders being civilly committed in Washington state.