Wash. state releasing another sex offender from McNeil Island; he's moving to Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - Another sexually violent predator is leaving the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island and he plans to make his home in Spokane.

A psychologist has determined 30-year old Morgan Heath no longer meets the criteria as a sexually violent predator; that means Washington state can no longer hold him at the SCC. 

The state has notified Spokane Police and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that Heath will be released Friday and he plans to live at the Lincoln House in the 1200 block of North Lincoln.

KXLY has reported extensively on the Lincoln House; it currently houses eight level-two and three sex offenders. There are no restrictions in place in Spokane County that would prohibit that many sex offenders from living in one place. 

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Heath’s history of sexual violence dates back to his teenage years. At 14, he was convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 2-year old girl. Court documents state Heath admitted that when the child cried, he threatened her, even saying if she cried “her mommy would go away.”

Heath has another criminal conviction for sexually assaulted two teenage girls when he was 21.

Over the years, Heath has been charged multiple times with violating terms of his probation and for failing to register as a sex offender. He once assaulted a girl who broke up with him in high school, saying “not even the law could keep [him] away from her.” 

After his release from prison on a sexual assault charge, he took a job operating a children’s ride at a carnival; he was also seen leading a child away from a park on a horse.

At his apartment complex, he was seen playing with young children and encouraging a dog to “hump” the children. Court documents say he also encouraged the children to assume a dog position and “hump” each other.

The state finally had him classified as a sexually violent predator and he was committed to the SCC in 2012. While there, Heath participated off and on in sex offender treatment programs. He was kicked out of the treatment classes several times for violating rules, disrupting staff and intimidating employees.

Every time doctors evaluated Heath, they diagnosed him with pedophilia, antisocial disorder and another behavioral disorder. Those reviews determined Heath’s mental abnormality made him dangerous to reoffend.

In February, another doctor evaluated Heath and said he no longer fit those diagnoses and could no longer be classified as a sexually violent predator. Basically, he is free to go.

That does not mean, though, that Heath is unlikely to reoffend. Risk assessments detailed in court documents state he is five times more likely to reoffend than a typical sex offender. He is also described as scoring on one test in a way that puts him at a 36% chance to be convicted of another sex offense within five years.

Heath told his treatment providers that he has been saving up and plans to pay for his rent at the Lincoln House in Spokane. Unlike offenders on conditional release, he is responsible for all of those expenses. He said he has worked as a cook at the SCC and wants to enroll in culinary classes at Spoakne Community College. He also said he would consider working at a grocery deli or an entry-level job at Denny’s.

As of Thursday afternoon, Heath was still at the SCC. The Washington Department of Corrections told Spokane Police and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office that Heath will be released Friday and head to Spokane.

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