Serial rapist Coe appeals confinement in U.S. court

TACOMA — Kevin Coe, who was arrested in 1981 after dozens of women were raped in Spokane, is appealing his confinement as a sexually violent predator to federal court.

Coe was suspected in the rapes, attributed to the “South Hill Rapist,” but only one conviction stood against him. He served 25 years in prison, and was confined at the state’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in 2008, following a monthlong civil trial.

Coe argues that the jurors at his civil trial should not have been asked to determine that he suffered from a “personality disorder” without having that term defined for them. He also says the jury should not have heard evidence of the other cases linked to the South Hill rapist because he was never convicted of them and because he was not allowed to challenge some of the victims through cross-examination.

The state Supreme Court rejected those arguments in 2012.

On Monday, a federal magistrate judge recommended that Coe’s request to proceed as an indigent plaintiff be rejected. The judge found that Coe can afford to pay the fee required to file the case.

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