The rape occurred nearly 26 years ago, but it is fresh in the mind of victim Julie Harmia of Washington State. She did not tell her son, daughter, or even a therapist about it until recently, reports the Seattle Times. But “she still hears the precise diction in convicted rapist Kevin Coe’s voice. She feels the dry grass and thorns of the vacant lot where she was thrown down. She sees the stitching on the tan leather glove Coe shoved deep into her mouth to silence her.” Coe was to get out of prison today after 25 years. Instead, the state attorney general filed a petition to commit him as a sexually violent predator. Coe’s commitment trial will be the most high-profile since 1991, when Washington began holding sex predators after their release from prison. Until then, he stays in custody.
Harmia, who now lives in Yakima, will likely see Coe again at that trial, from the witness stand. Although Spokane police think Coe raped as many as 43 girls and women between 1978 and 1981, Harmia’s is the only conviction that withstood Coe’s barrage of appeals. Harmia, 53, wants to remind people of Kevin Coe and his “reign of terror.” She says: “We need to reacquaint the public with the travesty and what a monster this man is, and let them understand that this man can never be in public. He is a menace to society. He needs to be committed for the rest of his life.” For his part, Coe denies raping anyone. He tells the Times: “The only thing that matches is blood type, and that’s 37.9 percent of the world’s population,” he said. “It’s an incredible bad-luck thing for me, just like the whole case.”