L.A. Doesn't Want Santa Clara County's 'Pillowcase Rapist'

Los Angeles County officials and residents today implored a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge not to relocate to Palmdale a serial sex offender, who admitted raping about 40 women between 1971 and 1982.

Credit: HLNTV screen shot.
Credit: HLNTV screen shot.
Residents and officials from Los Angeles County today implored a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge in San Jose not to relocate to the Palmdale area a serial sex offender -- the so- called "Pillowcase Rapist" -- who has admitted to raping dozens of women.

Several people living in a desert neighborhood called Lake Los Angeles, along with a state assemblyman and a chief deputy sheriff, all spoke in front of Judge Gilbert Brown against moving Christopher Evans Hubbart to a home about 17 miles east of Palmdale.

Brown tentatively ruled on Friday to permit Hubbart, 63, to be transferred from the Coalinga State Hospital in central California, where he is scheduled for release, to a rented house at 20315 E. Ave. R, in unincorporated northern Los Angeles County.

Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Vonda Tracey said that Brown, who has jurisdiction over Hubbart because the latest crimes he committed in the 1980s were in the county, determined that Hubbart's last domicile was in Los Angeles County and he should go live there.

Hubbart committed a series of rapes, sexual assaults and burglaries in the early 1970s in Los Angeles and was considered a mentally disordered sex offender, Tracey said.

He moved to Santa Clara County after his release from prison in 1980 and was arrested again in 1982 for another series of rapes, was sentenced to 16 years, paroled in 1990, then was committed to a state mental hospital in 1996 as a sexually violent offender and has been there ever since, Tracey said.

Upon his release, Hubbart would have a GPS ankle bracelet on at all times that would be monitored 24 hours a day for up to one year, would have to be escorted by police to appointments, undergo drug and alcohol testing, lie detector tests, sexual arousal tests and random searches and seizures, Tracey said.

"It is almost, effectively, he is under house arrest," Tracey said. "This is the most stringent level of supervision we have in the criminal justice system," she said.

But Brown's move to send Hubbart back to Los Angeles County has mobilized neighbors and lawmakers and law enforcement in the county, who claim that Hubbart would pose a threat to women and girls and may not be adequately monitored by law enforcement.

People living in the Antelope Valley area claimed to have letters from 11,000 people against having Hubbart move there. They also allege that even though police say Hubbart would be monitored by an ankle bracelet and GPS, phone and satellite signals are notoriously spotty there.

"The community is outraged about what is going to happen," said Cheryl Holbrook, who lives in Lake Los Angeles north of where Hubbart would be sent. "It's a community safety issue, not only for our safety, but for Mr. Hubbart's safety."

State Assemblyman Steve Fox, a Democrat whose 36th District includes the area where Brown is considering sending Hubbart, said that his district has about 1,000 registered sex offenders because it is the only part of the county that meets provisions of the state's Jessica's Law, which prevents offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school.

The desert area proposed for Hubbart has 13,000 residents but only two sheriff's deputies, not enough for people to feel safe from him, Fox said.

"Mr. Hubbart would present a clear and present danger and a target for vigilantes," Fox told Brown. Vladimir Gomez, a resident of Antelope Valley who claimed his sister is a rape victim, said that the community "is tired of being a dumping ground for criminals."

Los Angeles County Chief Deputy Sheriff William McSweeney told Brown that Sheriff John Scott is opposed to transferring Hubbart, who he said would cause "a huge distraction of sheriff's activities in the area."

McSweeney, speaking with Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Karen Thorpe after the hearing this morning, said that Hubbart had admitted to "100 or more rapes."

Thorpe said that the district attorney's office opposes Hubbart's release to the Antelope Valley area and that the office and Fox are working on proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 1607, that would require the legal system to work with residents affected by the release of sex offenders.

Misty Vivirito, one of the Lake Los Angeles residents who testified before Brown today against moving Hubbart, said that a landlord had agreed to rent a "very small house" to Hubbart off of a dirt road.

"He will see kids playing up and down the street," said Vivirito, who has two young daughters.

--Bay City News


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