Convicted rapist finishes sentence
June 25, 2008 · Updated 12:26 PM
"Sheriff speaks about offenderSouth Whidbey residents and particularly those of the Beverly Beach neighborhood where Brian Vanwetter will be living are invited to meet with Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at Woodard and Highway 525 in Freeland.The sheriff and his South Precinct deputies will talk about Vanwetter's Level 2 risk level (moderate chance to re-offend); discuss the state's sexual offender laws; and give tips on how to keep your neighborhood safe.A South Whidbey man who has served his time in prison for a first degree rape that occurred in 1991 will soon return to the community.According to the Island County Sheriff's Office, Brian Patrick Vanwetter, 27, will be released from state prison on Sept. 25. Authorities say he will reside on the 3900 block of Violet Street in the Beverly Beach area north of Freeland.State authorities rate sex offenders on the likelihood they will re-offend: A Level 1 sex offender is considered a low risk to the community. A Level 2 offender is a moderate risk, and a Level 3 offender is considered to have a high potential to re-offend.The state's Risk Level Assessment rated Vanwetter a Level 1 sexual offender. However, another rating panel, the state End of Sentence Review Committee, did not concur, and later classified Vanwetter as a Level 2 offender.As a Level 2 offender, VanWetter is required to register with the Sheriff's Office.Island County Sheriff Mike Hawley emphasized that VanWetter is not wanted by law enforcement at this time. Vanwetter has served the sentence imposed upon him by the court, Hawley said in a news release. Upon his release from prison, Vanwetter will be under state Department of Corrections supervision for 24 months. He must not use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs and must submit to an alcohol/drug test upon demand.The Sheriff's Office issued a public notice of Vanwetter's release, and has called a meeting for Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland to discuss the matter. This notification is not intended to increase fear, the notice states. Rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.Brian Vanwetter was 18 years old in November 1991 when he and another man, Tony Coville, then 39, went to a Deer Lake area home at around midnight. Vanwetter was a resident of the adult victim's neighborhood, but she did not know him. The two men threatened to kill the victim, her children and her husband if she resisted or called police. They carried martial arts weapons. Vanwetter covered the victim's head with his sweater and cut the telephone cord and gave it to his accomplice so her hands could be tied behind her back.Vanwetter was convicted in Island County Superior Court of one count of rape in the first degree with a deadly weapon, one count of robbery in the first degree with a deadly weapon, and one count of burglary in the first degree with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 125 months total confinement with credit for 264 days previously served.Sheriff Hawley emphasized that Vanwetter declined to participate in sexual deviancy treatment while incarcerated. It was determined that Vanwetter was chemically dependent, but he did not participate in substance abuse treatment.Tony Coville, Vanwetter's accomplice, pleaded guilty to the same charges. Information was not available as to his present whereabouts. "