St. Louis Public Radio News
2:37 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Female Sexual Predator Wins Appeal

St. Louis, MO – The only woman Missouri classifies a violent sexual predator won a court ruling Tuesday, but Angela Coffel is still confined in a mental hospital.

The Missouri Court of Appeals today ordered that Angela Coffel be freed from a Department of Mental Health facility in Farmington. She is the only woman the state considers a violent sexual predator and one of only a handful in the country.

The appeals court ruled that the recidivism rate for female sex offenders is so low that it is highly unlikely Coffel would commit a similar crime again.

Coffel,26, has HIV; she pleaded guilty in 1996 to sodomy involving two brothers, ages 14 and eleven.

She served a five-year sentence, but the designation as a dangerous sexual predator allowed the state to hold her indefinitely.

The state has appealed the decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, which is why she's still being held.