A 41-year-old convicted sex offender this week pleaded not guilty to three charges of rape stemming from a series of assaults over a six-month period in Renton.
Kenneth Demone Sims, who lives in an apartment complex in the 200 block of Lind Avenue Southwest not far from where the rapes occurred, would face life in prison under the state’s “Two Strike” law for sex offenders.
Sims is being held on $2 million bail at the jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. His next hearing is scheduled for July 24.
The assaults occurred in November and December and on June 3, according to prosecutors. He was arrested on June 18 when he arrived home with his girlfriend and their eight-month-old son.
He either showed or implied he had a weapon – a gun or a knife, according to prosecutors.
Sims entered his not-guilty pleas Monday to two counts of second-degree rape, one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree kidnapping.
Commenting after Sim was charged, Mayor Denis Law said he planned to meet with Police Chief Kevin Milosevich about raising the issue of sentencing guidelines for sexual predators with state legislators.
Law and Milosevich met, Law said, but Law has yet to talk with state legislators.
“I need to learn more about why our sentencing guidelines for sexual predators are so weak, leaving the public vulnerable to their actions despite the strong warnings from professional counselors and psychologists that they will likely re-offend,” he said.
The City of Renton held a public notification meeting about Sims on May 15, 2007, when he moved into his apartment complex on Lind Avenue. Law said he’s “a bit concerned that we have a lot of sex offenders living where Sims was residing.”
Sims is classified as a Level 3 sex offender, which means he has a high probability of re-offending. There are 29 Level 3 sex offenders living in Renton, according to the Police Department.
The state finds it necessary to notify the public when the sex offenders move into a community, Law said, yet “there’s no effort to truly deal with the offender’s issues and protect others from becoming victimized.”
He likened the situation to giving a child “a grenade to play with and hoping that he won’t pull the pin.”
It’s “irresponsible,” Law said, to release sex offenders with few conditions, other than to report their addresses to police. His discussions with legislators would include how to place greater accountability or conditions on sex offenders, rather than wait for them to re-offend.
“I strongly feel that when convicted of a predatory-type sex offense, the sentence should require a determination from medical personnel and counselors that the offender will not likely re-offend before being freed back into society,”
He said there’s some “radically wrong” with the state’s system to release sex offenders back into the community.
“I have no answers at this point, but it’s tragic that a freed sexual predator in Renton is now charged with raping at least three local women, and his actions were predicted by those hired to deal with his problems,” he said.
Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.