Stevan Knapp, who was recently moved out of a transitional home for sex offenders for various violations of his conditional release terms, will not be returning to Enumclaw after a judge’s decision today.
Knapp moved into Garden House, a “less restrictive alternative” (LRA) from the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center around the new year.
Designated a “high level” sex offender, the Enumclaw community was outraged that officials did little to alert people that Knapp was moving into the area and nothing to alert the city that Garden House existed and was operating as transitional housing for sex offenders.
Since then, the grassroots group Save Our Children — Enumclaw has been working toward filing a civil suit to close the LRA and remove Knapp from the community.
Knapp was temporarily removed from Garden House after being found to have violated his conditional release terms, none of which appear related to criminal or sexual violations.
According to Department of Corrections, Knapp sharpened a dowel into a weapon due to his rising levels of paranoia and anxiety in part due to “constant harassment and threats to his safety from the community.” Knapp is not allowed to have weapons of any kind.
Additionally, it appeared Knapp was in contact with another former McNeil Island resident, who was regularly driving by the house.
“Knapp is not allowed to have visitors, and while the former resident never entered the house, Knapp should’ve disclosed the texts to the [Community Corrections Specialist],” DOC documents read.
There was much celebration on the Save Our Children Facebook page when Knapp was moved back to McNeil Island on July 10 for these violations.
But there was also worry that Knapp could move back to Garden House, as a judge was considering whether granting his request to return him to Enumclaw was in his best interest during an Aug. 16 hearing.
According to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Superior Court Judge Suzanne Parisien ruled today, Aug. 23, that “the present conditions at the Garden House LRA are no longer in Mr. Knapp’s best interest, physically, psychologically and/or emotionally,” court documents read.
She clarified that Knapp was not removed from Garden House because of the various conditional release violations, but because of “significant safety concerns… related to increasingly fervent public protests surrounding the LRA location and what has been credibly described by Mr. Knapp as constant harassment and threats to his physical safety.”
The judge also noted that Knapp expressed a desire to return to Garden House, and that she also received three dozen emails and six phone messages from community residents who opposed him returning.
At this time, Knapp remains at the McNeil Island facility awaiting another hearing on potential LRA placement.
while a King County Superior Court judge decides if it is in Knapp’s best interest to stay at the Enumclaw home or be placed elsewhere.