Spokane Police link cold case rape to McNeil Island sex offender who was about to be released

SPOKANE, Wash – A man classified as a sexually violent predator who served prison time for multiple Spokane County rapes is now facing new rape charges, just as he was preparing to be released back into the community.

According to a source inside the Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island, detectives from Spokane arrested Halvorson Tuesday.

Spokane Police confirm they have a warrant for Halvorson’s arrest in connection with the rape of a woman in 2004. The connection was made as SPD started reviewing cold case sexual assaults under the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Project. That project calls for thousands of rape kits across the state to be submitted to the Washington State Crime Lab for testing.

SPD says the lab found a hit through the CODIS DNA index system, which means DNA in the rape kit matches DNA in the federal database.

SPD contacted the victim in the case; she is cooperating with the investigation.

Halvorson has been civilly committed at McNeil Island as a sexually violent predator but was scheduled to be released back to Spokane later this month.

Police arrested him on new charges of first-degree rape, second-degree rape, and second-degree assault with sexual motivation.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he was not yet booked into the Spokane County Jail but will be soon to face these new charges.

PAST CONVICTIONS

According to documents from the Washington State Court of Appeals, Halvorson has a lengthy criminal history of sexual assault.

In 1987, Halvorson had sexual contact with a four-year-old girl in Spokane County. He pleaded guilty to indecent liberties. “While he was awaiting sentencing on that charge, Halvorson broke into a 10-year old girl’s bedroom while she was sleeping, abducted her at knifepoint and raped her,” wrote the Washington Attorney General’s Office.

A judge sentenced Halvorson to 133 months in prison.

In 2007, he was convicted of another rape charge for attacking a woman in her Spokane County home.

After serving his prison time, the state petitioned to have him civilly committed as a sexually violent predator. A jury agreed and he was sent to McNeil Island for treatment where he has been ever since.

Halvorson has tried on several occasions to appeal his commitment.

According to the Court of Appeals, a doctor diagnosed Halvorson with pedophilic disorder, antisocial personality disorder, alcohol dependence and a cannabis abuse disorder.

“The antisocial personality disorder diagnosis was based on Mr. Halvorson’s pervasive disregard for and violation of the rights of others, deceitfulness, impulsivity, irritability and aggressiveness, reckless disregard for the safety of self and others, repeated failure to adhere to responsibilities under court supervision, and lack of remorse,” the Court wrote.

It’s not clear what changed in Halvorson’s diagnosis to make him eligible for release under the state’s Less Restrictive Alternative. Several other sexually violent predators have been released from McNeil Island under that restriction, many of them to Spokane.

It appears Spokane Police caught up with their suspect just in time; the warrant for his release was just issued on September 3rd.

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