KHQ Exclusive: Coe's attorneys file for change of venue in rape trial - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ Exclusive: Coe's attorneys file for change of venue in rape trial

Kevin Coe, known as the South Hill Rapist, was convicted of First Degree Rape and sent to prison for 25 years. Kevin Coe, known as the South Hill Rapist, was convicted of First Degree Rape and sent to prison for 25 years.

SPOKANE, Wash. - Attorneys for convicted South Hill rapist Kevin Coe want to either conduct his civil commitment trial outside of Spokane County or select jurors from a different county.

Kevin Coe's attorneys filed the motion late Thursday, just before the courthouse closed for the long holiday weekend. They want a change of venue because of the amount of pre-trial publicity Coe's case has received.

Coe's civil commitment trial is set to start September 15th.

As part of his argument Coe's attorney John Rodgers researched how many times Coe was mentioned on television broadcasts and in the newspaper in Spokane. His lawyers also used television ratings and the recent nationwide NBC Dateline episode featuring Kevin Coe as examples.

Coe's attorney accuses the media of reporting inflammatory facts that would prejudice a jury saying, "Though after two trials he was convicted of but one single count of rape, the media has publicized that the case 'grows by 21 victims' and that 'prosecutors want to call 44 of coe's alleged victims"

In regards to the trial set for September 15, 2008, attorneys commented that "It is not reasonable to expect the media, which has been so energetic for over a year and a half, to suddenly fall silent in the 8 to 10 weeks before trial. The opposite is more likely."

Coe's attorney specifically mentiones Seattle as a possible place to have the trial, saying the state's attorneys are from Seattle and it would be cheaper to fly witnesses.

They also mention that Coe is being held in Western Washington.

There is no word yet on when a judge would make a decision on this change of venue request.

Kevin Coe, known as the South Hill Rapist, was convicted of First Degree Rape and sent to prison for 25 years. He was recently released from custody, then taken back into custody pending the upcoming civil commitment hearing to determine whether he should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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