Washington state

State investigating offender's monitored visit to Lakewood

The Lakewood police officer, making a routine check of a violent sex offender's visit to a relative, knocked on the door and windows but couldn't get anyone to answer.

Finally, the sex offender's residential rehabilitation counselor answered the door. Her hair was down and she was fi xing her shirt, the police officer's report stated later.

Inside the house, as the officer checked the counselor's route plan and other records, the sex offender, adjusting his belt, walked out of a bedroom. The relative wasn't there.

Lakewood police and the city manager want to know what's going on.

The sex offender, Casper Ross, 44, was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl in 1987. He later was ordered to undergo treatment at the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center, where he admitted having a total of six victims of rape behavior, according to court records.

In a Monday letter to Dr. Henry Richards, superintendent of the SCC, Lakewood police Chief Larry Saunders said he wanted a state investigation into Ross' episode with the counselor.

The chief said Wednesday that there's an appearance of sexual activity involving a very dangerous person.

The state Department of Social and Health Services also wants to know what's going on. The agency runs the SCC, where more than 250 of the state's most dangerous sexual predators are treated.

"We're going to find out what happened," DSHS spokesman Steve Williams said.


Saunders said agreed-upon protocols to protect residents might have been violated. Those procedures govern visits by dangerous sex offenders to communities. Local police sometimes check to make sure the procedures are followed.

Lakewood patrol officer Viengsavanh Sivankeo reported what he did and found after his Sunday check on Ross at the relative's house in Lakewood.

The state vehicle the counselor drove with Ross was parked in the back of the home instead of the front, which caused Sivankeo concern about her safety and prompted him to knock on doors and windows, Saunders said.

A neighbor told the officer to look in the back of the house, and he found the vehicle there.

Then he knocked, finally got in the house and found Ross and his counselor.

Ross was convicted of first-degree rape in Pierce County. He was armed with a knife, forced the 12-year-old girl into his truck, drove her to an isolated area and raped her. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. A judge ordered him to the McNeil Island SCC in 1998. After Ross underwent multiple levels of treatment, a judge ordered him to the less restrictive transitional facility on the island in 2003, Williams said.

Chief Saunders said other routine checks of sex offender visits have not generated concerns. He said state authorities have been responsive and have kept to trip plans and safety protocols in the past.