Court: juvenile sex crimes can be basis of civil commitment

Washington state teacher settles discrimination suit

The Washington state Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that civil commitment of people designated as sexually violent predators can be indefinitely extended for those whose crimes occurred when they were juveniles.

While the court had previously ruled that previous juvenile sexual offenses could be considered when they later committed a sexual crime as an adult, its ruling on Thursday was the first in which they addressed whether crimes committed as a juvenile – with no additional sexual offenses as an adult – is sufficient as a foundation for the three-prong test for civil commitment.

With its ruling, the court affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a lower court’s ruling that denied the release of a man from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island even though he’s completed his prison sentence for a rape and attempted rape he was convicted of as a teen.