Hot Topic: Nursing Homes for Sex Offenders & Violent Offenders

Aging sex offender dies after latest charges dropped

5-15-17 Iowa:

INDEPENDENCE – A man who was at the heart of the issues over caring for aging sex offenders has died.

William Russell Cubbage died Friday at the Mental Health Institute in Independence, according to Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden. He was 88.

Cubbage’s death came almost two weeks after a district court judge dropped criminal charges against him for allegedly grabbing a female MHI employee between the legs in January 2016.

In ruling issued May 2, Judge Brad Harris found that Cubbage was incompetent to stand trial on a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. There was also no substantial probability that Cubbage could be restored to competency within a reasonable amount of time, Harris’s ruling continued.

The decision came following a mental health report and an agreement between the state and the defense.

Cubbage --- who suffered from dementia and had a lengthy record sex crimes involving children and was removed from a nursing home after sexually assaulting a 95-year-old resident in 2011 --- was accused of grabbing the MHI worker while she was assisting him in the shower in January 2016.

The MHI charge was put on hold in March 2017 after the defense questioned his competency to stand trial.

With the dismissal of the criminal charge, Cubbage was returned to MHI under a mental illness hospitalization order, Harden said.

Cubbage was convicted of sex offenses in 1987, 1997 and 1991, and he was later diagnosed with pedophilia and a personality disorder and was committed to treatment at the Department of Human Services’ Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders in Cherokee in 2002 under the state’s sexually violent predator statutes.

In 2010, he was released from the Cherokee facility after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s with other physical and mental ailments, and a doctor determined he no longer met the criteria of a sexual predator. He was released from the sexual predator commitment and placed under commitment for those with serious mentally illness.

Because Cubbage needed full-time care, he was placed at the Pomeroy Care Center in Pomeroy. In August 2011, an 8-year-old child who was visiting the center witnessed Cubbage sexually assaulting a 95-year-old woman, according to court records.

He wasn’t charged criminally in the Pomeroy assault, but the state began a court action to return to the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders. This was dismissed in 2014, and he was returned to the Department of Human Services and eventually placed at MHI in Independence.

The family of the 95-year-old woman from the Pomeroy incident sued the care center and the state, and the center filed a cross claim against the state. A district court judge threw out the claims against the state in a ruling was upheld by the Iowa Supreme Court in a split decision in April 2017. ..Source.. by JEFF REINITZ

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