posted on fri, jan. 14, 2005

library rapist ruled “sexually violent predator”

inquirer staff writer

the man who tried to rape an 8-year-old girl and left her for dead in a public library bathroom last year is a sexually violent predator, a judge ruled today.

common pleas court judge pamela dembe's ruling, under pennsylvania's megan's law, means that if he is ever released from prison, brian mccutchen must register with authorities and his address will be posted on a state web site. police also notify neighbors when sexually violent predators move into their communities.

"i am left with no doubt that mr. mccutchen has been a sexually violent predator, and that there is every reason to believe that - given the opportunity - he will continue to make sexually violent acts in a predatory way, and his victims will most likely be small children," dembe ruled after 2 1/2 hours of testimony from a psychiatrist.

dembe scheduled mccutchen's sentencing for feb. 18. the 24-year-old, who is homeless, faces a maximum 45 to 90 years in prison.

psychiatrist barbara ziv testified that mccutchen suffers from antisocial personality disorder and pedophilia.

"mr. mccutchen told authorities at the time of this arrest that he'd been struggling with pedophilia... his whole life," ziv testified. "... mr. mccutchen has described his attraction to very young children. he said he thought his girl was 5."

ziv said of the 60 offenders she's evaluated for the state's sexual offenders assessment board, mccutchen is "absolutely at the extreme end of the spectrum" and represents a "high risk."

"would i say he's likely to reoffend? yes, given the right opportunity - like if he's out of jail," she said.

in addition to the library attack, mccutchen previously tried to strangle another young girl. he served 6 months in prison for the july 2000 attack on a 9-year-old girl in a restroom at the venice island recreation center in manayunk.

mccutchen was previously kicked out of a home where he was staying for taking the underwear of a 4-year-old girl, ziv said.

before his arrest last year, he was repeatedly thrown out of philadelphia libraries for publicly masturbating and viewing pornography on library computers, ziv said.

in may, mccutchen pleaded guilty to attempted murder, attempted rape and related offenses for the feb. 7 attack at the independence branch library on seventh street near market.

his victim was found unconscious and partially undressed, wedged between a toilet and a wall.

the girl was in critical condition after the attack, and was hospitalized for two weeks, said assistant district attorney deborah harley. the child is still recovering, harley said.

megan's law was named for 7-year-old megan kanka of new jersey, who was raped and killed by a twice-convicted sexual offender who lived across the street from her home.

contact staff writer jacqueline soteropoulos at 215-854-4497 or

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