Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is concerned the release of a violent sex offender into the area could set a dangerous precedent.
David McCuistion, 55, was found guilty in 1993 of rape in the third degree, as well as third degree assault. A judge granted McCuistion release from McNeil Island, a place offenders are sent after serving time because they are too dangerous to live in the community.
This week, a judge allowed McCuistion to move into an apartment on the 300 block of West 2nd in Spokane. The judge decided the state could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt McCuistion needed to stay on McNeil Island.
This ruling was against the objections of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and Washington State Department of Corrections, according to the press release.
“I cannot thoroughly explain to you the disgust I have for that judge's ruling,” Knezovich said. “Especially, when he knows this individual that he just released was not willing to do any kind of treatment when he was in [jail].”
Under McCusition’s new release conditions, he has to participate in a sex offender treatment program and chemical dependency treatment, two things he refused to do while in custody.
“I do not know how this judge can look at anybody and say, ‘Oh don't worry about it. I'm quite confident I made the right decision,’” Knezovich said. “Well, I hope that he is right because if he is not I'm going to make sure he wears this one.”
McCuistion is under 24 hour GPS monitoring and is required to check in with his corrections officer. He is also required to follow certain release guidelines. For many items on the list of imposed conditions, it appears it is up to McCuistion to follow the release guidelines. For example, when out in the community, he is supposed to only use single occupant restrooms, follow pre-approved routes, and log the date/time of each trip.
His visitors must also be approved and he must keep a log of those who visit him. He is also not allowed to buy or have hand sanitizer, cologne, aftershave, topical sanitizers, or mouth wash that contains any form of alcohol.
KREM 2 learned on Thursday, an undercover officer was told by a tenant at McCuistion’s new apartment building they could pay off the manager to look the other way.
“We do not think this facility is able to handle these type of individuals, they're very manipulative,” Knezovich said. “They're very cunning and as the undercover operation found, all it takes is a little extra money and they can do whatever they want.”
Court documents show McCuistion requested to be sent to Spokane because he believes he has a better chance of getting a job as a welder here. KREM 2 checked his release conditions and McCuistion will need to be approved to go to school to become a welder.
“We have violent predators amongst us and it is a waiting game,” Knezovich said.
He is worried about what kind of precedent McCuistion’s release sets for the area.
Spokane is expected to get two more violent sex predators in the next three months, even though the Department of Corrections has said Eastern Washington does not have the resources it needs to handle violent offenders.
“Until the state legislature decides your rights matter more than somebody that will destroy lives, this doesn’t end,” Knezovich said.
In light of this case, he is worried what will happen when South Hill rapist Kevin Coe’s case is up for review next year.