SPOKANE, Wash. - Level III sex offender David McCuistion was just released from the Special Commitment Center for sexually violent predators on McNeil Island. Now, he's living in Spokane, relocated to a downtown apartment building the state believes is unfit to handle him.
The New Washington Apartments at 2nd and Washington has long been considered a secure facility for newly-released offenders, but it's actually anything but.
On Thursday, KXLY4 looked into why Washington State Department of Corrections said placing McCuistion at the New Washington Apartments would be "locking him into an environment" where he is constantly exposed to elements he is supposed to stay away from, and would be "set up for failure."
But placing McCuistion in the building wasn't DOC's decision, it was a judge's.
The court says he'll be strictly monitored in his new home. Among the rules, he can't leave his apartment except for pre-approved activities, he must wear a GPS at all times, he cannot contact children under 18, use alcohol or marijuana. He can't even watch R rated movies or use the internet without permission.
But, his move to the New Washington Apartments is one that state agencies tried to fight.
This facility has long housed the newly released, but last year, the DOC stopped placing offenders at the New Washington and Wolfe Apartments.
In court documents, DOC said that the place is infested with bed bugs and other vermin.
When DOC came to Spokane to inspect the building in June, residents told them the building was well-known for illegal drug activity.
DOC called the security of the building "nearly non-existent, citing non-working security cameras and a lax visitor policy.
According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, 28 sex offenders live within a quarter mile of the New Washington Apartments, and 19 of them live inside the building.
Court documents say the building owner and a previous manager are convicted sex offenders themselves.
In May, residents complained about a terrible odor and found a decomposing resident in a room. That body may have been there for weeks.
DOC says the housing "Places Mr. McCuistion in direct contact with minor children on a daily basis, vulnerable females, alcohol and narcotics."
While its not a residential neighborhood, it's alarming for businesses right down the street
"We're starting to look at new possible spaces at the salon, just being as we have such a strong female clientele and we're a salon of all women," said Emily Krause, a hairdresser at Tease Hair Salon.
KXLY4 reached out to the manager of the New Washington Apartments. That person would not accept our call.
The owner of the building also said he did not want to do an interview, but he has signed documents saying he will provide the level of security required by the court.
The DOC did their best to stop this move. But, despite all this paperwork, essentially saying it was a bad idea, a Pierce County judge signed off on it.
The DOC is now in charge of supervising this offender. They say they'll enforce the judge's orders.
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