State goes to court to keep Yelm sex offender from being released from McNeil Island

If released, the former Yelm resident would undergo sex-offender treatment in University Place.

A Thurston County jury will decide in coming weeks whether to release Johnny J. Davis from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. Davis was convicted as a teenager of multiple sex offenses — including child rape and kidnapping.

Davis, now 34, has been held at the center since 2009, when a jury found that he was a sexually violent offender. At the time, he was ordered held until he could be safely released.

His attorney, Emily Hancock, argues that Davis doesn’t need to prove that he has changed to be released. Rather, the state Attorney General’s Office must prove that a less restrictive alternative isn’t in Davis’ best interest, and that other conditions couldn’t adequately protect the community.

If released, the former Yelm resident would undergo sex-offender treatment with Jeanglee Tracer, of Tracer Therapy in University Place.

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Thomas Howe and Sean Hansen, of the Attorney General’s Office, are working to prevent his conditional release to the community.

A trial before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese began this week.

In 1996, Davis was accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl. He was 13 years old at the time, and charged in Thurston County Juvenile Court with first-degree child rape. He pleaded guilty to the charge later that year.

He again pleaded guilty in 1999 to three charges involving a 4-year-old girl: first-degree child rape, first degree child molestation, and first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation, according to The Olympian’s archives. He was sentenced to five years in custody at age 16.

In that case, Davis was accused of luring the girl with chewing gum, toys and promises of a fort, then assaulting her on at least 10 separate occasions.

At the time, Davis lived with his father and stepmother in Yelm. All of the victims lived in the same neighborhood.

In 2009, a jury found that Davis was a sexually violent predator. He was ordered to be committed at the Special Commitment Center, run by the state Department of Social and Health Services on McNeil Island. There are currently 273 sexually violent predators there, according to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office.

Since his commitment, Davis has undergone several evaluations.

In a January 2015 report, Dr. Elizabeth Bain wrote that…

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