Friday, September 4, 2009

Civilly committed rapist Gary Cherry staying on supervised release

A Washington serial rapist convicted in the rapes of 2 women and the attempted rape of a third, but who has admitted to raping 18 others, will stay on supervision after a petition for release was denied. If granted, 50 year old Gary Cherry would have been the first Washington sex offender to sucessfully graduate from civil committment. Cherry's petition to be let off of supervision was denied by Mason County Judge Amber Finley on Tuesday, September 1.

In 1979, Cherry befriended a woman he met in a bar, and raped her after she offered to give him a ride home. While on parole for that attack, Cherry tried to rape a 19 year old woman he met at a Grays Harbor fishing pond, but she fought him off. After that incident, Cherry raped a 21 year old woman he met at a Mason County cafe.

Th state of Washington declared Cherry a sexually violent predator and committed him to the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center after he finished his prison sentence. Cherry advanced through almost all steps of the sex offender treatment program.

In 2003 he was released and allowed to live at his own home with his wife and children, but he was under strict supervision, including the following restrictions:

- He is not allowed out in the community alone
- His movements are monitored by GPS
- He is not allowed to contact kids or women without supervision
- He is not allowed at parks, schools or other locations frequented by children or women
- He is not allowed to drive a car without permission from supervisors
- He may not use the Internet without monitoring
- He is not allowed to drink alcohol and is not permitted in bars
- Department of Corrections officials are allowed to search his property at any time.

Police are authorized to arrest Cherry for violating any of these conditions, but if the judge had approved the request from the state attorney general's office Cherry would have been free of these restrictions.

Parents Against Sex Offenders founder Sherry Smith was pleased, stating that she was "very shocked, I thought it was going to go the other way, but I'm very pleased."

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