Civil commitment trial date moved

Maverick A. Lanning faces indefinite lockup by the state.

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WALLA WALLA -- A new trial date has been set for a man the state Attorney General's Office wants to lock up indefinitely as a sexually violent predator.

Maverick A. Lanning now is scheduled for trial starting July 24 for a jury to determine if he meets the definition of a sex predator and should be detained "for control, care and treatment" at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.

The trial had been slated to begin Nov. 7.

Lanning was scheduled to be released from the Washington State Penitentiary March 2, 2010. Instead, he was transferred to the commitment center pending the outcome of his civil commitment trial, brought about by a petition filed in Walla Walla County Superior Court by the AG's Office.

Lanning, now 31, twice pleaded guilty in the mid-1990s to first-degree child molestation for having sexual contact with a girl in Walla Walla County, according to a document filed in court by the AG's Office.

Then in 2006, Lanning pleaded guilty to communicating with a different girl for immoral purposes and was sentenced to 43 months in prison.

He allegedly suffers from several mental abnormalities and disorders, including pedophilia. The conditions cause him "to have serious difficulty 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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