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Jan. 24, 2020

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Hazel Dell rapist’s release set for Friday

Registration as sex offender required, but not supervision

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published:

A serial rapist who terrorized Hazel Dell in the late 1980s is set to be released from prison Friday to live in Vancouver after serving three decades behind bars.

In November 1989, a Clark County jury convicted Brian Ashley Hass, then 25, of first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault for attacking a 21-year-old Hazel Dell woman in her home.

After his arrest in that case, officers here connected him to a separate attempted rape in the same neighborhood. The victim went to bed at her Hazel Dell home on Nov. 13, 1987, and awoke to find a stranger, later identified as Hass, in her bedroom. Hass was holding a knife to her neck, she said. He fled when he was startled by her mother making noise in the house.

She recently reached out to The Columbian about Hass’ upcoming release. She said she is terrorized that Hass will once again be in the community and wanted people to know and prepare.

The state Department of Corrections has provided her with a “safety plan checklist” that encourages changing the locks on doors, removing easy-to-hide-behind shrubs and getting a dog or dogs.

Once released, Hass will not be under supervision by law enforcement. According to DOC, Hass committed his crimes when the law did not provide for a term of community supervision following release from prison.

“Therefore, the judge in Mr. Hass’ case didn’t sentence Mr. Hass to community supervision pending his release, so (DOC) has no authority to supervise him,” a DOC spokeswoman said in an email.

Hass’ post-release requirements include registration as a Level III sex offender, defined by the state as a “potential high risk to the community (who) are a threat to re-offend if provided the opportunity.”

Clark County residents can sign up for “Offender Watch” to get alerts about sex offenders moving into their neighborhoods through the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. More information can be found at https://www.waspc.org/assets/SexOffenders/offenderwatch%20flyer.pdf.

DOC noted that it has community liaisons who work with victims of crimes to help them develop safety plans and access other resources. The YWCA is the sexual assault provider for Clark County. Victims of rape or assault who would like additional resources may also contact the hotline at 1-800-695-0167 or visit https://ywcaclarkcounty.org/what-we-do/our-programs/sexual-assault-program.

Hass was one of two violent sexual predators who scarred the community decades ago. David Jay Sterling, whose rape victims include boys and girls, was resentenced in August to serve five life sentences for a 1982 crime spree.

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