10/31/2014

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The day she dreaded: Her child's rapist gets out of prison

The day she dreaded: Her child's rapist gets out of prison

TACOMA, Wash. -- The shades in the small, light-brown house moved. Nobody answered the door. Neighbors didn't see him.
 
Cory Roberts, a violent sex offender who was released from prison on Monday, is supposed to be moving into a half-way house on the 7200 block of South Fawcett Avenue in Tacoma.
 
The mother of one of his victims is devastated.
 
"A little piece of me has died because I know about now he's probably driving to his new residence, probably getting settled, and imagining what he's going to do today," Kelly McGinnis said from her home in Kent.
 
McGinnis has dreaded this day after officials informed her two weeks ago that her daughter's rapist would be released.
 
"It just tears me apart that he's out," she said through tears. "He's done with his sentence and my daughter is continuing to serve her life sentence and it's just not fair."
 
Roberts spent the past 24 years in prison for the 1990 rape and beating that left McGinnis' daughter permanently brain damaged. She was just 3-years old when Roberts, then 13, was babysitting.

The attack left the daughter with the mental capacity of a 10-year-old. She is partially blind, struggles to walk with leg braces and remembers portions of what happened to her.
 
McGinnis is making it her mission to warn the community.
 
"I want people to know he's out, what he's capable of, of what he could do to somebody else, another child," she said. "I cannot sit by and just let this happen. I can't not say anything because he's a monster and he's going to hurt somebody else."
 
Neighbors on South Fawcett Avenue are appalled to learn Roberts is slated to live on their block.
 
"I'm so angry. I've got a granddaughter that comes out here to play and to know that she can't even be out here now because of him," said Maria Cronk, who lives across the street.
 
She and other neighbors say they'll keep a close eye on the man and his whereabouts.
 
"God forbid I find out this guy turned around and hurt somebody around here. Oh my God, there'd be hell to pay," Cronk said.
 
Roberts' release was not a decision by the Washington Department of Corrections. The King County Prosecutor's office released the following statement to explain the circumstances of the case:
 
"The crime Roberts was convicted of 24 years ago when he was 13 is among the worst imaginable. We have detained him using a petition under the Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Civil Commitment statute for the past 11 years,  during which time he has constantly litigated and delayed the trial necessary for commitment for treatment within the secure facility on McNeil Island.  As we neared the trial date, experts retained by the state concluded that Roberts did not have the kind of "mental abnormality" that we must prove to a jury in order to obtain an order of involuntary civil commitment.  Consequently, he was released from the SVP facility and will be under a community supervision mandate from his criminal conviction."

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