Friday, December 11, 2009

‘Bad Actor’ returns

He’s definitely back in the vicinity. The Department of Corrections (DOC) confirmed this week that Michael J. Sheehan, a convicted sexual deviant with a long history of activity in Madison Park, is out of jail and living on 23rd and E. Columbia, just a couple miles down the road. As was reported by the Madison Park Times this month, Sheehan got out of jail in October; but he was almost immediately re-arrested on a parole violation because he removed his GPS tracking unit (I am told this is called a “strap violation.”)

According to Scott Harris, who supervises the DOC’s Sexual Assault Unit for King County, Sheenan will be under DOC supervision through 9/7/2013, assuming that he does not commit any other parole violations during the period. Additional violations would result in lengthened supervision.

Right now, Harris says, Sheehan is required to report in to his community corrections officer (CCO) on a daily basis, is not allowed to use drugs or alcohol, and may not leave King County without permission. In addition to being subject to random drug testing, Sheehan will be given polygraph tests on a regular basis (at least every three months), according to Harris. Although sexual-offender parolees can be ordered into sexual deviancy treatment programs, it is not known whether Sheehan has had this requirement imposed upon him.

Based on his history of recidivism, it appears that he certainly could use some form of treatment. He clearly fits the classic definition of a “bad actor.” Since his last incarceration, he has apparently been reclassified from a “Level II” risk to a “Level III.” (King County shows him as a “Level II” on its website, but the DOC assures me that he is a “Level III” for purposes of their supervision.)

Here’s what the Washington State Sexual Offender Information Center says about those listed as a “Level III” risk: “These offenders pose a potential high risk to the community and are a threat to re-offend if provided the opportunity. Most have prior sex crime convictions as well as other criminal convictions. Their lifestyles and choices place them in this classification. Some have predatory characteristics and may seek out victims. They may have refused or failed to complete approved treatment programs.”

So that’s part of the story. Sheehan is out and living not that far away. What is perhaps more surprising, however, is the fact that he is living one block from Nova High School, three blocks from Garfield High School, and four blocks from a private school.

And he’s not alone. Several other registered sex offenders live in the same neighborhood. Fortunately, there are none living within the confines of Madison Park, although there are 16 living within two miles of us.

There are no known restrictions on Sheehan’s movements so long as he doesn’t leave the county. He has been known in the past to allegedly engage in peeping-tom activities here, to stalk victims, and to illegally enter premises for sexual purposes. The picture above is a recent one released by the King County Sheriff’s office. So take note.

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