A former Tacoma resident who was one of the first people confined in the state's Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators went home Wednesday after a nearly two-decade battle to win his freedom.
Andre Brigham Young, 69, was convicted of raping six women in Tacoma, Thurston and King counties over a 23-year period before a King County jury committed him to the center in 1991.
Young walked out of the McNeil Island facility Wednesday morning and registered as a Level 3 sex offender with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department by early afternoon.
He told authorities he will live in the 2100 block of South M Street, sheriff’s detective Curtis Wright said.
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There were 153 Level 3 offenders – those considered most likely to re-offend – registered to live in the county Wednesday, Wright said.
Young’s attorney, Brent Hart of Seattle, declined to discuss his client’s living arrangements or why he chose to live in Tacoma. Fifteen years ago, his attorneys told a judge their client wanted to return home to attend church and work, according to news reports from that time.
“I think he’s excited and looking forward to living his life,” Hart said Wednesday.
Young took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000, arguing the civil commitment law violated his constitutional rights by punishing him twice for the same crime. He’d already served his prison sentence when he was locked up under civil laws aimed at controlling sexually violent predators.
The nation’s high court rebuffed him, and he finally won his release Tuesday during negotiations with King County prosecutors.
The sides were preparing for a trial over whether Young’s commitment to the center should be renewed when they hammered out a bargain, Hart said.
“There were compromises on both sides,” he said.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued a news release saying it negotiated an agreement that allowed it to place conditions on Young’s release.
They include prohibitions against viewing pornography, frequenting adult-entertainment establishments and committing any offense against females, including sexual assaulting, harassing, stalking or threatening them.
Prosecutors can move to revoke his release should he violate any conditions.
Young could have been released without conditions had he prevailed at trial, the news release states.
It appeared the evidence favored Young.
Three psychological experts who evaluated him in preparation for the trial “concluded he no longer met the standard required under the law that he would be likely to re-offend,” the news release stated. Two of those experts work for the state, the release added.
“The risk assessment tool used by experts to predict risk of sexually violent recidivism is impacted by age of the offender,” the news release states. “At age 70, offenders are considered a much lower risk to re-offend than when they are younger.
“Prosecutors were concerned about proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt.”
In March 1991, Young became the second person committed to the center – the first from King County.
He did not participate in treatment programs while there said Thomas Shapley, spokesman for the center.
Shapley said SCC staff members were not consulted about the decision to release Young.
“Since 2001, there have been 46 unconditional releases due to the resident being found to either not meet or no longer meet criteria under state law on being a sexually violent predator,” Shapley said.
Five residents have won release after completing treatment at the facility.
Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/crime