LOS ANGELES — Residents and government officials from northern Los Angeles County are outraged that a serial rapist linked to attacks on dozens of women could be released into their community.
A Santa Clara County judge announced at a court hearing Friday that Christopher Hubbart, 62, might be moved into a single-family home in Lake Los Angeles, an unincorporated area near Palmdale.
“They’re taking someone who is not from here, who has a horrific criminal record and they’re dumping him in the Antelope Valley,” Palmdale city spokesman John Mlynar told the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/18oXVOY). “We don’t think that’s right.”
Hubbart, who has spent nearly two decades in a state mental hospital, has admitted to raping 38 women in California between 1971 and 1982. He is among more than 500 offenders in the state who have been confined under a law that allows authorities to commit sexually violent predators to state hospitals if they are deemed to have mental disorders that make them likely to reoffend, even if they have already served their entire prison sentences.
Earlier this year, Judge Gilbert Brown granted Hubbart’s conditional release and rejected arguments that he should be released in the San Francisco Bay Area, where his most recent crimes were committed, and said he should return to Los Angeles County, where he was born and raised and considers to be his home. In August, the California Supreme Court denied Los Angeles County’s appeal to stop his release and his specific relocation to the county.
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Vonda Tracey said Hubbart’s release is the final phase in a multi-step treatment process that ends with a conditional release in the community, where he will initially be under constant supervision. Hubbart’s public defender has said his client’s request for release was supported by his treating psychologists.
“We all know that no one wants this guy living near them, so our goal is to put out as much information as possible so that the public knows how closely monitored he’s going to be so that they feel safer,” Tracey said.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has set up a page on its website to accept public comments on the suitability of the proposed housing location. Brown will consider objections to the location but could order Hubbart’s release to the home at his next court hearing on Dec. 4, Tracey said.