Photos of adults having sex with child-sized mannequins might not get a convicted sex offender sent back to prison, but it could send him back to the state’s center for sexually violent predators.
To convict William Everett Duncan of the crime of possessing child pornography, prosecutors said they’d have to prove that it showed real children, not mannequins.
But to civilly commit the 76-year-old to the state’s center for sexually violent predators, given his criminal history, they argue images of mannequin are enough.
Duncan was living in transitional housing in Tacoma when others there reported in July that the convicted sex offender had child pornography and alcohol is his room, according to court records.
Never miss a local story.
Pierce County prosecutors charged him with several counts of child-pornography possession, which court records show were dropped Jan. 25 after a federal investigator said the images appeared to show adults having sex with child-sized mannequins — not real children.
That’s when the King County Prosecutor’s Office stepped in. Because Duncan’s original crimes were in King County, they filed a petition the same day to have Duncan civilly committed to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island.
It’s not the first time.
Court records show the first sex crime on Duncan’s record was in 1960 when he assaulted a Cub Scout who came to his door to sell tickets. In 1981, he molested an 8-year-old and was committed to the SCC until 1986.
Then he was accused of molesting a toddler he was babysitting in 2000, pleaded guilty to lesser charges and eventually was committed to the SCC again, until his release in 2012.
King County prosecutors argued in their recent petition to send him back that he’s committed a “recent overt act.” State law describes that as behavior that “has either caused harm of a sexually violent nature or creates a reasonable apprehension of such harm in the mind of an objective person ... .”
And it’s grounds to get someone committed.
In arguing that Duncan’s behavior amounted to a “recent overt act,” prosecutors cited a letter in their petition from forensic evaluator Dr. Harry Hoberman.
It states in part: “... it is my opinion that as a sexual offender who has had extensive contact sexual offenses with many minors, despite multiple exposures to sexual offender treatment in varied settings, that Mr. Duncan’s possession of images that appeared to simulate child pornography constitutes a recent overt act.”
Duncan will have the chance to fight the commitment petition at trial. Meanwhile, he’s being held in the King County Jail.