Dodd, who had a history of sexual-abuse crimes, was charged in Asotin County in 1983 in connection with the molesting of a young boy, but before he could come to trial he was arrested and convicted on a similar crime in Lewiston, Idaho. He was sentenced to one year of a potential 10-year sentence and wound up serving only four months before he was released and told to attend counseling. But the Asotin County prosecutor's office never brought Dodd to trial on his outstanding charge.
The lawsuit alleged that a conviction, along with proper sentencing based on Dodd's criminal background in Asotin County, could have kept him in prison through the time of the murders. No one from the state followed through on Dodd's 1983 charge, which was never officially dismissed.