Man to be detained indefinitely as sex predator

A civil jury ruled Calvin J. Mines is a sexually violent predator and that he should be held until, if ever, his condition improves.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Superior Court jury has determined that a man who assaulted a girl here in the late 1960s with the intent to rape her is a sexually violent predator.

The verdict in the civil commitment case against Calvin J. Mines was reached Tuesday afternoon at the end of a seven-day trial. The six-woman six-man jury deliberated about 1 1/4 hour before reaching its unanimous decision.

The verdict means Mines will be locked up indefinitely until he no longer is a danger to society.

Mines, 56, has been detained awaiting the trial since March 2006 when the state Attorney General's Office filed a civil commitment petition against him. He had been scheduled to be released from custody that month after completing a sentence for two counts of third-degree assault in Spokane County.

During closing arguments Tuesday at Mines' trial, Assistant State Attorney General Malcolm Ross told the jury Mines suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder making him likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if not confined.

Randell Lewis, an attorney representing Mines, argued that although his client is a career criminal, he has completed his sentences and should be set free. Lewis contended Mines doesn't meet the state law's definition of a sex predator.

But Ross said Mines is "untreated, unpenitent and unmistakably dangerous," pointing to years of Mines' violent behavior. "Mr. Mines is highly, highly sexually deviant," Ross said. "And Mr. Mines is a psychopath."

He will continue to be held at the Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island for control, care and treatment until his condition improves.

Ross said in an interview following the reading of the verdict, "I'm content that the jury did the right thing in this case," adding he's confident the evidence was overwhelming against Mines.

Lewis acknowledged he's not surprised Mines was ordered committed. "It's very, very tough," Lewis said, given the high success rate the state has achieved in locking up accused sex predators.

Mines was arrested, charged and convicted of numerous crimes between 1965 and 2002.

In Walla Walla County on Nov. 17, 1969, he armed himself with a hunting knife and assaulted a 16-year-old girl while intending to rape her. He was convicted Feb. 5, 1970, of first-degree assault in the case.

In the 1990s, Mines was convicted in Island County of unlawful imprisonment and third-degree rape, and of unlawful imprisonment in Spokane County. He has also committed infractions for assault and sexual assault while incarcerated.

Mines began offending as early as age 16, has a deeply ingrained pattern of sexually deviant behavior and has rarely been free more than 18 months before committing another sexual or violent crime, according to the AG's office.

He has been diagnosed with mental abnormalities and antisocial personality disorder that "cause him to have serious difficulty in controlling his dangerous behavior and make him likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence unless confined to a secure facility," the court petition says.

Several such petitions have been filed in Walla Walla County since the law allowing for indefinite confinement of sex predators went into effect in 1990.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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