Kevin Coe Sentenced To 55 Years Plus Life In Rape Retrial
Mar. 19, 1985
SEATTLE (AP) _ Kevin Coe was sentenced Monday to 55 years plus life in prison for three first-degree rape convictions in the retrial of the ''South Hill rapist'' case.
Coe, 38, whose retrial jury was hung on a fourth rape count, received sentences of 25 years, 30 years and life. The sentences, handed down by King County Superior Court Judge Patricia Aitken, will be served consecutively.
Coe was charged in four of more than 40 brutal sexual assaults blamed on the ''South Hill rapist,'' who terrorized that quiet Spokane neighborhood between 1978 and 1981.
He was convicted in 1981 in Spokane on four rape counts, and was sentenced to 75 years plus life, but the convictions were overturned by the state Supreme Court.
Coe's lawyers have promised to appeal his retrial convictions, and in a lengthy statement before sentencing, Coe said his was a ''trial by media.''
''I'm not the South Hill rapist, I'm the Spokane scapegoat,'' Coe said.
''The second trial had more in common with a carnival,'' said Coe. ''It was not up to the level of the 'People's Court' (television show) ... It's amazing to me this nightmare has gone on for four years and it's headed for triple jeopardy. I've been framed, railroaded...
''My family and I have been humiliated, libeled, slandered, ridiculed and yet ... I think there are a number of people who support us and see through this and know of my innocence.''
The one-time real estate salesman's original convictions were overturned last June by the Washington Supreme Court, which cited numerous mistakes in the first trial by both judge and prosecutor, and ordered a new trial.
During a short recess after Coe spoke, his mother, Ruth Coe, leaned forward from the second row to say: ''Kevin Coe, I'm very proud of you.''
Mrs. Coe, a one-time charm school instructor, was convicted in 1982 of trying to hire the murder of the judge and prosecutor in her son's first trial. She served nearly a year in work release.
Coe lawyer David Allen said he would appeal Coe's latest convictions to the Washington Supreme Court ''in the next week or so.''
Prime issues will be Ms. Aitken's decision to admit into evidence a confession Coe made to a Spokane psychiatrist after his first convictions, and her decision to let previously hypnotized rape victims identify Coe during his trial.