Kevin Coe takes state to court over computer access

SPOKANE, Wash. - Coe computer vo

Spokane's infamous South Hill rapist, Kevin Coe, has another court fight on his hands as he fights for permission to purchase a computer, something the Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island does not want him to have access to.

Coe, 65, terrorized Spokane back in the 1980's and allegedly attacked dozens of women as they walked or jogged through their neighborhoods. He was convicted of four of those rapes but all but one were overturned on a appeal.

Coe was sentenced to 25 years in prison but before he could be released, prosecutors had Coe civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. He is serving an indefinite sentence at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in western Washington.

Now he's going back to court, asking to be allowed to purchase a computer at his own expense. The computer Coe wants is a Brother International DP-series word processor. It has a built-in printer but cannot access the internet nor can it display photos or play movies.

The SCC staff denied Coe's request because the computer he wants does contain simple artwork. The staff is also concerned about Coe's ability to produce multi-color copies that conceivably could be used to make counterfeit identification badges. Coe said he's willing to only have access to black ink.

Other inmates at the facility are allowed to have personal computers but Coe, who been incarcerated since the early 80's, said he is more familiar with word processor technology and prefers this model's larger, backlit LCD screen because it's easier for Coe to read.

Coe has asked Spokane Superior Court Judge Kathleen O'Conner to overrule the SCC decision at a hearing on July 31, which he will attend by telephone from the commitment center.