High-risk sex offender now living in Benton County

A sex offender with a history of mental illness and a recent voyeurism guilty plea, is living in Benton County.

John Cory Imus, 50, recently was released from the Franklin County jail after admitting to peeping in a Pasco home and touching himself while watching a girl undress.

Imus, who was arrested by Pasco police in December, is awaiting sentencing for the charge. He had reportedly been staying at a Pasco motel, but Thursday went to the Benton County Sheriff's Office to register as a transient.

Imus told authorities he doesn't have a permanent place to live but will be staying in Benton County. He's classified as a Level 3 sex offender, which means he's considered a high risk to reoffend.

He also is required to tell authorities where he's living. As a transient, Imus will be required to check in weekly with the sheriff's office.

His criminal history in California and Washington includes lewd conduct, indecent exposure and voyeurism.

According to court documents, Imus' latest arrest came after residents at a North Eighth Avenue home spotted him in their yard and looking in their window.

He was evaluated by Eastern State Hospital psychologists and determined to be competent to stand trial.

He pleaded guilty June 12 in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of voyeurism and faces a standard sentencing range of up to one year in jail. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a six-month sentence, according to the plea agreement.

Imus was released July 12 after it was determined he already had served that time. He was expected to be sentenced Aug. 7, but he'll be back in court Tuesday. He might ask the judge to withdraw his plea.

A presentencing report, completed by the state Department of Corrections, indicated Imus has a standard sentencing range of two years and nine months in prison to three years and seven months in prison.

Sheila Perkins, a community corrections officer in Pasco who completed the report, recommended Imus serve the maximum time in prison, followed by three years of community supervision.

She said he's in need of constant supervision and if he remains in the community is "more likely than not to commit crimes and jeopardize the safety of the community."

She also noted that in the short time Imus was out of custody, he had two contacts with police. Richland police got calls from a hospital after Imus reportedly was loitering in and around the facility making staff feel uncomfortable because of his bizarre behavior, documents stated.

Another Richland business owner also called police when Imus allegedly loitered outside the women's restroom.

Imus' mental health case manager said Imus has been one of his most difficult cases because medications given to him over the decades have not worked.

Imus' sex offender status also prevents him from being eligible for most community mental health services, including counseling programs, transition programs and transitional housing or group homes, documents said.

His case manager said Imus should be in the care of a group home, but no group homes in the state will take him. Because of the lack of services, Imus always will be "in a perpetual state of crisis," documents stated.

When Imus met with Perkins on July 13, he was agitated and said he called crisis response because he could not stop picking his head. Imus has a history of self-mutilation of his scalp as a result of his mental illness, documents said.

Imus said that since his release the day before, he had just been walking around talking to himself, yelling out profanities and hearing voices, documents stated.

Imus said he hoped he would get to stay in the community after his sentencing and said he planned to spend the rest of his days "living in the country, walking through the woods and hitchhiking," documents stated.

Imus' case worker said Imus had no inhibition control and is a sexual predator and a danger to the community.

When asked what led him to commit his current offense, Imus reportedly said he always had a problem.

"I looked through the window, saw a pretty girl and touched myself. It is only nature. Monkeys in the wilderness touch themselves," Imus was quoted as saying.

Imus reportedly also admitted that before his December arrest, he had been peeping in the victim's bedroom window over a period of two years, documents stated.

He told Perkins that he was sorry for his actions. But he also admitted he has engaged in sexually deviant behavior dating back to childhood and has never stopped peeping in windows or watching women in bathroom stalls, documents stated.

Imus also allegedly admitted to continuing to public masturbation and acknowledge he has been fortunate to not have been caught the majority of the time, documents stated.

"I have had this problem all my life," he reportedly said.