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Oct. 18, 2021

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Convicted rapist set for release arrested in 2004 rape case

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SPOKANE — A convicted rapist set for release from Washington state’s McNeil Island Special Commitment Center has been arrested because of DNA linking him to a 2004 rape in Spokane, police said.

Scott Raymond Halvorson, also known as Raymond Reynolds, faces charges of first-degree rape, second-degree rape and second-degree assault, The Spokesman-Review reported.

Halvorson’s first conviction was in 1988 for luring a 4-year-old girl to his Spokane County apartment. Before that sentencing, Halvorson raped a 10-year-old girl at knifepoint, according to court records.

He was again convicted of rape in 2008 and was civilly committed to McNeil Island in 2014.

In June, Halvorson had a petition granted for release on Sept. 21 into the Spokane community, where he would have been supervised by the Department of Corrections.

DNA from a 2004 rape had been submitted for testing in 2020. This year the kit was tested and uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System, where it matched Halvorson, police said. Spokane officers had been investigating cold cases through a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs grant.

It was by chance that the results came back shortly before Halvorson was set to be released, investigator Sgt. Zachary Storment said.

For years, Washington had a large backlog of sexual assault evidence kits, commonly called “rape kits.” This changed about six years ago, when the state Legislature passed a bill requiring departments to submit the kits for testing. At the same time, the Legislature provided money for the Washington State Crime Lab to test the 10,370 backlogged kits.

The results for the 2004 Spokane rape were confirmed with a new DNA sample from Halvorson, Storment said. Then they contacted the victim.

In 2004, a 52-year-old sex worker reported a client had violently assaulted her. She told police the rapist had tried to strangle her.

After the assault, Halvorson drove away, the victim told police. While she was reluctant to report the assault to police, she went to the hospital and police took her statement. They were unable to find a suspect.

The victim, now in her late 60s, told police she wanted to press charges if her attacker could be identified, although she is still scared he would retaliate against her.

A conviction on these allegations would make Halvorson a persistent offender, requiring a sentence of life without the possibility of release, according to court documents.

Halvorson was transferred from McNeil Island to the Spokane County Jail this week. It wasn’t immediately known if he has a lawyer to comment on the case.

About half of Washington’s backlogged kits had been tested as of November. While the kits are being tested, that doesn’t mean the results are being investigated. Few departments have the resources to investigate the large number of cases, Storment said.

“I’m grateful that we actually found something like this case that shows it is worth doing,” Storment said.

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