TACOMA — Following a trial prosecuted by Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s Sexually Violent Predator Unit (SVP), a Pierce County Superior Court judge has ruled that a 36-year-old Pierce County sex offender is a sexually violent predator will be civilly committed.
In December 2016, a mother reported that John L. Brewer molested her daughter, a developmentally disabled 7-year-old girl, while he babysat her and three other children. The girl reported to her mother what he had done and she confronted him. He said the girl was lying.
A month later, Brewer called the elementary school that the girl and her younger brother attended. He pretended to be their mother and said an uncle was going to pick them up. Brewer then came to the school pretending to be the uncle. The school declined permission for him to take the children and called police to detain Brewer. Detectives interviewed him and Brewer admitted to molesting the girl the month beforehand.
In July 2017, he pleaded guilty to felony second-degree child molestation and first- and second-degree attempted kidnapping.
In prison, Brewer admitted in his sex offender treatment paperwork to sexually assaulting six prepubescent children prior to his 2016 arrest. One was a 2-year-old child.
Prior to his scheduled release, the Attorney General’s Office filed an SVP petition in June 2022, took it to trial earlier this month and successfully committed Brewer to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
“It’s a high bar to designate someone a sexually violent predator,” Ferguson said. “It’s reserved for people who are likely to continue to commit sexually violent crimes, unless we intervene. My team works every day to ensure our communities are protected from sexually violent predators.”
Washington’s SVP law allows the state Attorney General’s Office to petition for and defend the civil commitment of violent sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
The Attorney General’s Office carried the burden of proving Brewer suffers from a mental condition that makes him likely to commit predatory sexual crimes. The judge found yesterday that prosecutors had met that burden.
Assistant Attorneys General Hal Palmer, CJ Murray and Colette Sampson, Paralegals Martha Neumann and Malia Anfinson handled the case for the state.
Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator law allows the state Attorney General’s Office to petition for the civil commitment of violent sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.
In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they serve their criminal sentences. The Sexually Violent Predator Unit was established shortly thereafter.
The unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception).
Currently, there are 130 sexually violent predators in the state’s Special Commitment Center.