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State Supreme Court Refuses To Block Release Of Notorious Serial Rapist
Efforts to prevent a serial rapist from being released seem to have failed, with the California Supreme Court refusing to hear a request to stay the release of a man who's admitted to raping nearly 40 women.
On Wednesday, the court rejected Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey's request for a new hearing on whether Christopher Hubbart, 62, should be released in Santa Clara County, where he committed his most recent crimes, rather than Los Angeles, the LA Times reports.
Of course, most people would prefer he wouldn't be released at all. Dubbed the "Pillowcase Rapist," because he muffled his victims' screams by placing pillowcases over their heads, according to the Huffington Post, Hubbart assaulted more than three dozen women between 1971 and 1982.
"We aggressively pursued and exhausted all legal avenues to stop the release of sexually violent predator Christopher Hubbart to Los Angeles County," Lacey said Wednesday.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told the Huffington Post. "Releasing this individual into the county where many of the victims and their families live is unreasonable and unfair."
"He's a serial rapist, he has a problem, and putting him back into community is endangering our young people,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich told CBS. "A serial rapist deserves life in prison or life in a mental institution, but not a life in our streets.
He agrees with Lacey that Hubbart is "a significant threat to public safety." Hubbart's attorney, Santa Clara County Deputy Public Defender Jeff Dunn, said last month that his client is no longer a public safety risk after years of "intensive treatment." He said that Hubbart's treating psychologist at Coalinga State Hospital and the hospital's medical director support his release.
Lacey is now focusing her efforts on "working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all terms and conditions of Hubbart's release from custody are strictly enforced," she said Wednesday.
A date for his release has not been set, but authorities say that finding him housing can take six months to a year. Once he is freed, he will have to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, report his movements and submit regularly to a polygraph and other tests, according to the Times.
Hubbart was one of the first sexual offenders to be committed to a state hospital under a law that took effect in 1996. It allowed authorities to commit sexually violent predators to state hospitals if they have mental disorders that make them likely to re-offend, even if — like Hubbart — they have already served their entire prison sentences.
He was first arrested in 1972, where he admitted to raping at least 20 women in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Seven years later, he was released after state doctors determined that he was no longer a threat: he moved to the Bay Area, where he proved them very wrong by committing at least 10 more sexual assaults.
In 1996, he was declared a "sexually violent predator" and underwent a treatment that focuses on lowering the risk of re-offending rather than attempting a cure. Hubbart argued that he should not be locked up indefinitely since he's served his original sentence , but the Los Angeles Police Protective League argues that if he committed those crimes today, he would have received life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A Santa Clara County judge ruled in May that Hubbart should be freed in Los Angeles County, where Hubbart grew up and where he lived the last time he was released from prison in 1993, the Times reports.
Lacey noted some of Hubbart's methods in her petition, "He would drive around in the early morning and look for homes that had garage doors open, indicating the man of the house had gone to work. He would also look for children's toys, believing that mothers would be protective of their children and more likely to cooperate with him. He would bind the women's hands and cover their faces, then sexually assault them."
Efforts are underway to notify Hubbart's victims, according to the Huffington Post.