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Sex offender ordered here

He wanted to live in Everett

A high-risk, Level 3 sex offender who’s getting out of prison in May wanted to move to Everett, where he had been offered housing. But officials from the Department of Corrections, citing a new state law, are instead sending him to Oak Harbor, where he will live on the streets.

It’s a situation that concerns Island County Sheriff Mark Brown, who’s worried that 43-year-old Sidney Summiel won’t have a good shot at successfully reentering the real world if he’s homeless and jobless.

That puts the community at a greater risk, Brown said.

“Now he has to come here with $40 in his pocket and nowhere to stay,” Brown said. “It just doesn’t look like a formula for success.”

Brown will discuss Summiel and a Level 2 sex offender at a community meeting at 7 o’clock tonight at the Oak Harbor Municipal Shop, 1400 NE 16th Street.

Brown said he’s not sure if the problem is the new law (Senate Bill 6157) or the Department of Corrections’ implementation of the law.

Ironically, the year-old law is aimed at reducing recidivism rates for all offenders by easing the transition from prison to the community through a number of measures, including individual reentry plans. But it requires an offender to return to the county of origin, which is defined as the location of his or her first felony conviction.

Exceptions are allowed, the law states, if the return to the community is “inappropriate considering any court-ordered condition of the offender’s sentence, victim safety concerns, negative influences on the offender in the community, or the location of family or other sponsoring persons or organizations that will support the offender.”

“How much more of a negative influence is it to be homeless?” Brown asked rhetorically.

Lisa Lee, a community corrections officer in Oak Harbor, said the housing that Summiel was offered didn’t qualify as an exception to the law. She said he will be homeless in the Oak Harbor area, but she has no idea where he will be camping out. The former Navy man doesn’t even have a friend’s couch to stay on.

Among state’s most dangerous

Summiel will be monitored under a program reserved for the state’s most dangerous sex offenders. A new strategy authorized by Gov. Chris Gregoire last fall authorizes GPS monitoring for registered sex offenders who are considered most likely to reoffend. Summiel will have to wear a GPS device, which keeps track of where he’s been. The information doesn’t give law enforcement real-time information about his whereabouts, but the data has to be downloaded periodically.

A problem, Lee said, is that the GPS device must be recharged daily, which could be a difficultly for a homeless man. She said Summiel will have to come into the Department of Corrections office in Oak Harbor each day to recharge the battery, but she’s not sure what will happen on weekends.

Brown said one of Summiel’s former victims, who is now an adult, still lives in the community and his family is upset that the offender is returning. But the sheriff admits that Summiel probably wouldn’t pose an imminent danger to the man.

“He’s not a violent person,” Brown said. “He’s what I call a professional groomer.”

Summiel was convicted of child rape in the second degree in Island County Superior Court. He was originally charged with 34 different counts of sex crimes for allegedly having sexual relationships with a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy, as well as possessing child pornography.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Summiel used extensive grooming techniques, including buying gifts and giving out cash.

Summiel is under community supervision through the Department of Corrections for three to four years. The Department of Corrections End of Sentence Review Committee has rated Summiel as a Level 3 sexual offender, which means he is considered a high risk to reoffend. He has not had sex offender treatment and is not required to do so.

Summiel is scheduled to get out of prison and move to Oak Harbor May 5.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for a high-risk sex offender,” Brown said, “but I do feel sorry that we aren’t giving him the best opportunity to succeed.”

He wanted to live in Everett

A high-risk, Level 3 sex offender who’s getting out of prison in May wanted to move to Everett, where he had been offered housing. But officials from the Department of Corrections, citing a new state law, are instead sending him to Oak Harbor, where he will live on the streets.

It’s a situation that concerns Island County Sheriff Mark Brown, who’s worried that 43-year-old Sidney Summiel won’t have a good shot at successfully reentering the real world if he’s homeless and jobless.

That puts the community at a greater risk, Brown said.

“Now he has to come here with $40 in his pocket and nowhere to stay,” Brown said. “It just doesn’t look like a formula for success.”

Brown will discuss Summiel and a Level 2 sex offender at a community meeting at 7 o’clock tonight at the Oak Harbor Municipal Shop, 1400 NE 16th Street.

Brown said he’s not sure if the problem is the new law (Senate Bill 6157) or the Department of Corrections’ implementation of the law.

Ironically, the year-old law is aimed at reducing recidivism rates for all offenders by easing the transition from prison to the community through a number of measures, including individual reentry plans. But it requires an offender to return to the county of origin, which is defined as the location of his or her first felony conviction.

Exceptions are allowed, the law states, if the return to the community is “inappropriate considering any court-ordered condition of the offender’s sentence, victim safety concerns, negative influences on the offender in the community, or the location of family or other sponsoring persons or organizations that will support the offender.”

“How much more of a negative influence is it to be homeless?” Brown asked rhetorically.

Lisa Lee, a community corrections officer in Oak Harbor, said the housing that Summiel was offered didn’t qualify as an exception to the law. She said he will be homeless in the Oak Harbor area, but she has no idea where he will be camping out. The former Navy man doesn’t even have a friend’s couch to stay on.

Among state’s most dangerous

Summiel will be monitored under a program reserved for the state’s most dangerous sex offenders. A new strategy authorized by Gov. Chris Gregoire last fall authorizes GPS monitoring for registered sex offenders who are considered most likely to reoffend. Summiel will have to wear a GPS device, which keeps track of where he’s been. The information doesn’t give law enforcement real-time information about his whereabouts, but the data has to be downloaded periodically.

A problem, Lee said, is that the GPS device must be recharged daily, which could be a difficultly for a homeless man. She said Summiel will have to come into the Department of Corrections office in Oak Harbor each day to recharge the battery, but she’s not sure what will happen on weekends.

Brown said one of Summiel’s former victims, who is now an adult, still lives in the community and his family is upset that the offender is returning. But the sheriff admits that Summiel probably wouldn’t pose an imminent danger to the man.

“He’s not a violent person,” Brown said. “He’s what I call a professional groomer.”

Summiel was convicted of child rape in the second degree in Island County Superior Court. He was originally charged with 34 different counts of sex crimes for allegedly having sexual relationships with a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy, as well as possessing child pornography.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Summiel used extensive grooming techniques, including buying gifts and giving out cash.

Summiel is under community supervision through the Department of Corrections for three to four years. The Department of Corrections End of Sentence Review Committee has rated Summiel as a Level 3 sexual offender, which means he is considered a high risk to reoffend. He has not had sex offender treatment and is not required to do so.

Summiel is scheduled to get out of prison and move to Oak Harbor May 5.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for a high-risk sex offender,” Brown said, “but I do feel sorry that we aren’t giving him the best opportunity to succeed.”

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