Violent sex offender arrested one week after release

Violent sex offender arrested one week after release »Play Video
John Callahan
SEATTLE -- A convicted child predator is back behind bars one week after he was released from state custody.

Seattle police arrested John J. Callahan, 40, outside the Bread of Life Mission in Pioneer Square Monday afternoon after he violated the conditions of his release, said Chad Lewis, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Callahan, a level-three sex offender, crossed county lines without permission, Lewis said, and also failed to report to his community corrections officer.

"He could face time in the county jail," Lewis said.

"Oh dear," said Betty Callahan, John's mother, when reached by phone Monday night and told of her son's arrest. "I was afraid of this."

"We told him that would happen," she added. "We told him he would get arrested for going out of the county, and apparently he has got to learn."

Callahan served 25 years in prison after being convicted of child rape and molestation in cases stretching back to the 1988. Prosecutors say Callahan tortured his victims, even sticking them with pins.

Last week, Callahan was released from McNeil Island's Civil Commitment Center, despite his victims and their families pleading with the state to keep him behind bars.

"(His arrest is) disturbing, because it just shows why he shouldn't have been let out in the first place," said the father of some of the victims. "He's only been out a week and he's already violating it. It just shows: that's the kind of person we really want walking around on our streets? I don't think we do. I don't."

"If you had sat on a child's bed and you had listened to the disclosures that were made to you as a parent and saw the full completeness of what he did to little children, you'd be very upset, too," he added.

As part of the terms of his release, Callahan had to register as a sex offender with King County. He spent two nights at the Bread of Life Mission on South Main Street before he was arrested, said Pastor Thomas Molina, the mission's director of operations.

"He was looking for another bed," Molina said. "We don't allow sex offenders in our program, but as far as overnight guests - which are the homeless population - they're more than welcome to stay, as long they're not in any type of trouble. We don't do a background check on any of our overnight guests."

Callahan was booked into the Snohomish County Jail Monday night. He will attend a DOC violation hearing in the next couple of weeks to determine if he violated the terms of his supervision, Lewis said.