2SSB 6460

C 123 L 06
Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Increasing penalties for crimes committed with sexual motivation.

Sponsors: Senate Committee on Ways & Means (originally sponsored by Senators Hargrove, Stevens, McCaslin, McAuliffe, Keiser, Rasmussen, Benton, Roach and Oke; by request of Attorney General).

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections
Senate Committee on Ways & Means
House Committee on Criminal Justice & Corrections
House Committee on Appropriations

Background: To commit a crime with sexual motivation means that a crime was committed, at least in part, for a person's sexual gratification.

With few exceptions, a prosecutor must file a special allegation of sexual motivation when enough admissible evidence exists to justify a finding of sexual motivation by a reasonable and objective fact-finder. The prosecutor must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime with a sexual motivation.

A special verdict or a judicial finding of fact that the accused committed a crime with sexual motivation may have the effect of subjecting a person to penalties such as those that would inhere to someone convicted of an offense defined as a sex offense under the law. Such consequences might include ineligibility for certain sentencing alternatives, such as the First Time Offender Waiver or the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative. Once incarcerated, he or she is not eligible for as much earned early release time as other offenders. After release, he or she must comply with the state's registration requirements and is subject to a mandatory term of community custody and mandatory Department of Corrections supervision in the community. If sentenced for a subsequent offense, the seriousness level of his or her prior sex offense will be tripled for purposes of sentencing.

Summary: A statutory sexual motivation enhancement is created for sentencing purposes. Additional time in total confinement, consecutive to all other sentencing provisions, must be served if a conviction includes a special verdict or judicial finding that the crime underlying the conviction was committed with sexual motivation.

If a person's previous sentence has included a sexual motivation enhancement, the time that must be served in total confinement for subsequent sexual motivation enhancements doubles.

If the standard sentencing range exceeds the statutory maximum sentence for the offense, the statutory maximum sentence shall be the presumptive sentence unless the offender is a persistent offender. If the addition of a sexual motivation enhancement increases the sentence so that it would exceed the statutory maximum for the offense, the portion of the sentence representing the enhancement may not be reduced.

A sentencing court may impose a sentence outside the standard range (e.g., consider sexual motivation an aggravating factor, allowing imposition of a sentence up to the statutory maximum).

Time that must be served in total confinement must be calculated before earned early release time is credited.

Votes on Final Passage:

Senate      42   6
House      95   3

Effective: July 1, 2006