Judge says jury selection will remain open in Coe trial - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge says jury selection will remain open in Coe trial

Kevin Coe is suspected of being the "South Hill Rapist" Kevin Coe is suspected of being the "South Hill Rapist"
Individual screening for jurors in the Coe trial begins Monday Individual screening for jurors in the Coe trial begins Monday

SPOKANE, Wash. - A lawyer for 61-year-old Kevin Coe says there's "zero likelihood" that the convicted rapist will reoffend. The attorney, Tim Trageser, is trying to prevent Coe from being committed to the Special Center for sex predators on McNeil Island.

At his commitment trial Monday in Spokane, a prosecutor said Coe should remain locked up, even though he has completed a 25-year sentence for a rape in the South Hill Rapist case.


Previous Coverage:

 Jury selection started Monday in Spokane in convicted rapist Kevin Coe's civil commitment trial.

A judge denied Coe's request to close proceedings in his civil commitment trial, ruling Thursday that jury selection will remain open.

The defense essentially wanted to shut the door on the individual questioning process that begins on Monday, and for good reason according to the judge. Some potential jurors may have problems answering the questions that are personal in nature. Ultimately, she decided to let the jurors decide.

Attorney's for Kevin Coe say that potential jurors in this case will be asked questions unlike many other trials, questions involving intimate details of their pasts. The Attorney General's Office, arguing Thursday by phone from Seattle, said that while caution should exercised, private questioning should only be offered to jurors that specifically ask for it.

The judge agreed with both sides to a certain degree, saying 30 percent of a normal jury pool would have some sort of connection to sexual assault or mental health issues in their lives, but only they should decide if they wanted to talk about it in private.

Judge O'Connor said she would consider hearing in private some of the answers if jurors request it.

The mental health issues jurors will be asked about are relevant in this case because the hearing is basically about assessing Coe's mental health to decide whether or not he will re-offend.

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