A state appeals court has ordered the release of the only woman found guilty under Missouri’s sexually violent predator law. The court has ruled that the state has NOT provided sufficient evidence to keep Angela Coffel under the custody of the Department of Mental Health. Coffel pleaded guilty to having sex with an 11 and a 13 year old boy in 1996 in eastern Missouri’s Lincoln County, knowing she had tested positive for H-I-V. She also had sex with a 15-year-old boy while out on bond awaiting sentencing. A judge found her to be a sexually violent predator, but the appeals court overruled the decision. The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case last month. The high court declined to rule on the case and sent it back to the Eastern District court which stuck with its original ruling handed down earlier this year.
Related item:
AUDIO: Oral argument before Missouri Supreme Court (October 21, 2003)