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Old 01-19-2004, 08:50 AM
Casshew Casshew is offline
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Rapist who fled to Florida knew of law's loophole

Long before he took off for a new life in Florida, sex offender Thomas Ingrassia knew Missouri had no law making it a crime for him to escape from its highly touted Sexually Violent Predator Unit.

"I had researched it," Ingrassia said, using a few old statute books left in a library at the mental health facility.

In a wide-ranging interview Thursday, Ingrassia told the Post-Dispatch that he knew about a loophole in the law before cutting a fence for freedom in 2001 at the civil commitment unit in Farmington. The unit holds Missouri's most incorrigible rapists and child molesters.

"Missouri's so quick to make up laws without researching whether it's proper," he said. "They're idiots."

From the St. Francois County Jail, Ingrassia granted his first telephone interview since his capture in October in Florida, where he had been living under an assumed name for two years. In the interview, Ingrassia:

Blasted the predator treatment program on which Missouri spends millions. He said he felt like a "guinea pig in an experiment."

Hopes he has a future with the flight attendant he married in Florida, even though she turned him in to police.

Admitted using his half brother's identity, "Dave Davis," during his two years on the lam in Florida but claims the real Davis, of Florissant, was unaware of it.

Ingrassia refused to discuss how he escaped or who, if anyone, helped him. He said talking about that now could hurt his chances with his current criminal case, a charge of felony property damage for cutting the fence.


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