First woman ever held at McNeil Island facility for violent sexual predators released, living in Spokane

History of sexually abusing young children

SPOKANE, Wash. — The first woman ever classified by the state of Washington as a sexually violent predator has been released and is now living in north Spokane.

Laura McCollum was released April 14th and now lives in the 1400 block of North Lincoln. She’s registered as a level three sex offender.

McCollum was convicted of first-degree rape of a child in July 1990. She raped an 18-month old girl for whom she was providing daycare. She was sentenced to prison; after her release, a jury agreed that she was a sexually violent predator and she was civilly committed to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

Some offenders are released from the facility under a Less Restrictive Alternative, which means they’re still considered dangerous and are under strict state supervision and regulations. McCollum is not under an LRA and is free to move through the community as long as she registers as a sex offender.

Her conviction history involves that singular case, but her treatment history obtained by 4 News Now shows a much longer history of sexual crimes.

According to that treatment report compiled in 2002, McCollum reported being abused as a child and was removed from her parents and placed in foster care. She said she experienced “extreme abuse” at the hands of those foster parents.

She disclosed that she also sexually assaulted a younger foster brother when she was 10 years old and other children of both genders starting when she was 12.

In reference to the child she was convicted of abusing, treatment records show, “the abuse started when the victim was one and a half years old and continued over a two-year period. Ms. McCollum later reported being physically violent with this child and experiencing heightened sexual arousal while injuring her.”

McCollum told her treatment provider she victimized children of all ages, but most were between infancy and 8 years old. She said she would target distressed and substance-abusing parents or single mothers and offer child care as a way to get access to children. “She groomed some children with gifts and stalked other children.” She also described sexually assaulting her own newborn daughter in 1985. She gave all of her children up for adoption.

“Ms. McCollum has disclosed a history of sadistic fantasies including a scenario in which she rapes, kills and dismembers her child victims,” the treatment provider wrote.

Experts diagnosed her with a number of mental illnesses upon her commitment to McNeil Island.

That report indicated that her “deviant arousal pattern is very ingrained and has dominated much of her functioning.”

In 2002, she told a treatment provider, “I don’t want to be put in a position where I could offend again. I don’t want more victims.”

Over the years, McCollum has been kept separate from the men at McNeil Island and has undergone treatment for her behaviors. There has been one other woman at the Special Commitment Center. That offender was there from 2010 until 2012 and was also unconditionally released.

In 2019, she was let off the island under a conditional release to Pierce County. At the time, she was required to have two chaperones to be with her in the community.

Court records show she mostly complied with restrictions there, but that she got in trouble when someone gave her a gift. She also said she “inadvertently” accessed the internet on her phone, which she was not supposed to do.

She also disclosed that she was thinking of moving to Spokane.

Her therapist wrote in February that McCollum “appears to be demonstrating an increased durability since her return to the community” and that she continuously expressed a desire to follow the rules.

In the petition for her unconditional release, Andrew Morrison, an attorney in Spokane, wrote that McCollum “no longer meets the definition of a sexually violent predator.”

Her sex offender registration lists her date of release to Spokane as April 14.

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