Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a petition in Grays Harbor County Superior Court seeking to civilly commit an Aberdeen-area sex offender and prevent his release into the community.

Patrick Truxillo, 47, was convicted of first-degree rape and first-degree burglary in 2002 and sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison.

Truxillo was due to be released on Jan. 4, but the Attorney General’s Office petitioned to have him committed, alleging that he is mentally ill and sexually dangerous. It will ask a judge to find probable cause that Truxillo is a sexually violent predator, a preliminary ruling that would allow the state to detain him for further proceedings.

Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator law allows the state Attorney General’s Office to petition for the civil commitment of violent sex offenders who, because of a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder, are proven likely to engage in predatory acts of sexual violence if released.

The civil commitment petition consists of allegations that have not yet been proven in a court of law. The state has the burden to prove the allegations in court.

“The Attorney General’s Office works hard to prevent the release of dangerous sexually violent offenders into our communities,” said Attorney General Ferguson.

In 1990, Washington became the first state in the nation to pass a law permitting the involuntary civil commitment of sex offenders after they have served their criminal sentences. The Attorney General’s SVP Unit was established shortly thereafter.

The AGO SVP unit is responsible for prosecuting sex predator cases for 38 of Washington’s 39 counties (King County being the exception). In Fiscal Year 2013, the unit tried 19 cases, won 16 civil commitments and secured one recommitment. One trial ended in a hung jury and one offender was found by a jury not to meet criteria to be committed as a sexually violent predator.

As of October 2014, 294 sexually violent predators are in the state’s Special Commitment Program.