SPOKANE, Wash - A sex offender with a history of violent attacks is back in Spokane and living at a home with other offenders.
Shawn Dale Botner had been previously classified as a sexually violent predator and civilly committed to McNeil Island.
Botner has a criminal history in Spokane dating back to the early 1990s. His most prolific crime happened in 2006, after he had served prison time for attempted rape and other crimes.
In that case, Gonzaga University security found a bag stashed on the Centennial Trail filled with women's clothing, pornography, sex toys and other items. They also found a black notebook containing the planned kidnap, rape, murder and dismemberment of a female clerk at an adult book store. Campus security also noted there had been reports of someone hiding in the bushes, masturbating at people as they walked by and ejaculating into a milk jug.
Police identified Botner as a person of interest; he was on probation at the time. When police approached him, they saw he was wearing a bra and carrying similar items that were found in the bag at the trail. Probation officers discovered he had changed addresses and didn't notify DOC or update his sex offender registration.
He was arrested and an expert diagnosed him with sexual sadism, pedophilia and other antiscocial disorders. Coupled with past sex offenses, the state believed he should be classified as a sexually violent predator.
A jury ultimately agreed and after he was released from prison, he was sent to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
The Department of Social and Health Services says last week, a jury determined he no longer meets that criteria; he was released from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island Monday.
County records show he is now living in the Lincoln House which is near the Spokane Arena. 4 News Now has reported extensively on the home, as it serves as a home for other sex offenders and currently-classified sexually violent predators.
Since the men living in the Lincoln House are still under state supervision, tax dollars pay their rent. That's around $9-10 thousand a month, according to the State Office of Financial Management.
Several of the nine level three offenders at the Lincoln House are under what the state calls a Less Restrictive Alternative, which means extensive GPS monitoring and even chaperones when they go out in public. Botner does not have those restrictions in place; he is not under an LRA.
It's not clear what restrictions he has; Spokane Police and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office were just notified of his release today.
Botner is 47 years old, 6'2", 180 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, but a recent picture shows a shaved head.
Past Criminal History
According to court records, when Botner was 18, he attacked a woman as she left the women's restroom at the Adult Education Center in Spokane. In that attack, he put an electrical cord around her neck, dragged her into a stall and sexually assaulted her. A doctor said she was lucky to have survived, given the force used to try and strangle her. She suffered other serious injuries in the attack, including a broken nose. Upon his arrest, he admitted the crime. He was later convicted of first degree attempted rape.
Botner was also convicted of two counts of indecent liberties for molesting a nine-year old relative.
Court documents say Botner also attacked and choked a woman while she came out of a public bathroom at Riverfront Park. She was able to scream and as witnesses approached, he took off. He was identified by witnesses in a photo lineup and charged with unlawful imprisonment.
While in prison, Botner completed sex offender group therapy. Therapists said Botner followed a pattern where he would get bored with his lifestyle, resents he has to work for what he perceives as very little and turns to criminal behavior.
Levels of Sex Offenders
Levels are used to classify sex offenders based on their risk of re-offending.
Level one means the offender has a low risk of committing another sexual crime. It's the only level not published on the state sex offender registry, unless the offenders are homeless or fail to register.
Level two offenders are considered to have a moderate risk of reoffending, and level three sex offenders are considered to be at a high risk of reoffending.
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