Two residents of the state’s Special Commitment Center for dangerous sex offenders are refusing to submit to mandatory DNA testing, and the state has gone to court to try to force them to comply.
The assistant state attorneys general who represent the center filed suit in Pierce County Superior Court last week seeking an injunction to compel John Ingham and Richard Turay to give up a biological sample or to allow state officials to use “reasonable force” to obtain one.
The center is required by law to obtain such samples, the state said in court pleadings, and Ingham’s and Turay’s refusal to submit to testing is “an actual and ongoing harm.”
Samples obtained from sex offenders housed at the McNeil Island facility, and other people convicted of certain felonies across the state, are entered into a database used by law enforcement.
“The DNA database serves an important public interest in assisting law enforcement to solve crimes and detect recidivism,” the state contends. “The database can only serve its important function if all persons required to provide a sample do so.”
Ingham is a convicted rapist who in 2001 was found in Pierce County Superior Court to be a sexually violent predator. As such, he was confined to the center under civil commitment laws. Turay is a thrice-convicted rapist committed to the center out of King County in 1991.
In January 2012, center officials set about collecting biological samples from residents who had been convicted of crimes that require mandatory DNA testing, court records show. Samples usually are collected by scraping the inside of a person’s cheek but also can be obtained by taking blood from a finger.
Ingham and Turay refused, telling center officials they would comply only if a judge told them to, the records show.
Center officials tried again in August, but both men again refused.
“Defendant Ingham told SCC staff to ‘get a court order,’ and promptly ended the conversation,” court records show.
Separate hearings on the dispute have been set for January.firstname.lastname@example.org 253-597-8644 blog.thenewstribune.com/crime @TNTadam