Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Serial rapist will remain locked up

A man who was sentenced to prison for the brutal 1994 rape of a 17-year-old McDonald County girl and who admitted during a sexual offender program to forcibly raping five other women when he was a teenager, will remain behind bars.
The Missouri Southern District Court of Appeals ruled today that Jamin Shafer, 34, is a sexually violent predator and can be committed, despite what Shafer's attorney felt was faulty evidence.
Shafer had been committed in 2000 after serving a five-year sentence, but that case was sent back to McDonald County Circuit Court, where a jury once again ruled for a civil commitment in April 2004.
The Missouri Supreme Court sent Shafer's case, along with those of three other sexual offenders,back to the Southern District appellate court.
During Shafer's initial prison term, he tried three times to get through the Missouri Sexual Offender Program, failing the first two times, according to the appellate court opinion.
"On Nov. 3, 1998, (he) received notice that he must successfully complete the MOSOP, or he would be subject to commitment as a sexually violent predator."
Shafer made it through the program the third time, but admitted to his therapist that "he had raped five girls from the time he was 16 until the age of 18." He later made the same admission to a licensed professional counselor. He later reinterviewed Shafer and obtained the same results, but Shafer later recanted the admission.
When the case came to trail in 2004, the state used the testimony of a Nebraska psychiatrist Dr. Terry Davis, even though Shafer refused to see him. Based on his study of Shafer's file, Davis said he found evidence that Shafer had an antisocial personality disorder, even though he said Shafer would not fit that definition if he had not admitted committing the five rapes and said he was likely to rape again and pointed to four reasons: the number of sexual offenses, the fact that his victims were strangers, the presence of the antisocial personality disorder, and his lack of success during treatment.
Shafer's lawyer said Dr. Davis's testimony should not have been admitted. The appellate court ruled that only flaws in the doctor's testimony should go to how much weight it has given, and not to whether it was admissible.

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