Kevin Coe’s rape trial in Seattle in 1985 was surrounded with grim tabloid drama, notes the city’s Times. His mother was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill a judge. His father was a prominent newspaper editor. And Coe was on trial as the notorious South Hill rapist of Spokane. The odd and sad case re-emerged Wednesday when Attorney General Rob McKenna filed a petition to commit Coe, scheduled for release Sept. 8, to Washington’s sex-predator treatment institution on McNeil Island. Coe would be by far the most high-profile resident there.
The filing in Spokane Superior Court means Coe will likely face another trial in the city where dozens of rapes of female joggers and walkers between 1978 and 1981 instilled a panic that is still a stark memory. After two trials and two Supreme Court rulings, Coe was convicted of a single rape. He was sentenced to 25 years but continues to profess his innocence. Coe, now 59, said in an interview from the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla that McKenna’s decision was “an absolute extreme injustice.”