by Patrick H. Moore
Sooner or later, most prisoners get out of jail or prison. Recidivism rates are — of course — extremely high. 60 to 70 per cent of released prisoners are arrested within three years of release and around 50 per cent of these individuals are convicted of new crimes. Oddly, the recidivism rate for violent offenders is slightly lower: 60 to 63 per cent of violent criminals are arrested during the three year window following their release and around 40 per cent are convicted. The high rate of recidivism undoubtedly plays a key role in the almost legendary reluctance of parole boards to parole the inmates who appear before them.
Notwithstanding this reluctance, according to Joshua Rhett Miller of Fox News, Christopher Hubbart, a sexually violent serial rapist dubbed the ‘Pillowcase Rapist,’ who has spent nearly two decades in mental institutions after admitting to sexually assaulting more than three dozen women throughout California between 1971 and 1982, will very likely be a free man within weeks. On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied prosecutors’ requests to block his release from a state mental hospital. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey had petitioned the state Supreme Court in July to block Hubbart’s release, stating that the 62-year-old Hubbart was a “significant threat to public safety,” but her request was rejected without comment.
Lacey had sought a new hearing on whether Hubbart should be released in Santa Clara County, where he committed his most recent crimes, rather than in Los Angeles County.
“We aggressively pursued and exhausted all legal avenues to stop the release of sexually violent predator Christopher Hubbart to Los Angeles County,” Lacey said in a statement obtained by FoxNews.com. “We now are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all terms and conditions of Hubbart’s release from custody are strictly enforced. We will do everything within our power to keep all members of our community safe from harm.”
Jackie Lacey detailed Hubbart’s long history of sexually violent acts in her petition, describing how Hubbart broke into homes to watch women while he was just a teenager.
“He first sexually assaulted a woman when he was a senior in high school; he reached out and touched her breast as she was walking by,” the petition read. “He repeated that type of assault seven or eight times before 1971, and about eight to nine times after he started college in 1971. He would sometime follow women home.”
Hubbart committed up to 26 assaults in 1972, all of them in the Los Angeles area.
“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 hand and cover their faces, then sexually assault them.”
Ergo Hubbaart’s nickname — the Pillowcase Rapist.
Amazingly, Hubbart was actually released from a state hospital in 1979 after doctors determined he longer posed a threat to the public. He then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area area, where he attacked more women there and in Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley before being convicted and re-committed to a state hospital. He was later paroled in 1990 and was sent back to state prison after attacking a female jogger.
In 1996, Hubbart was declared a “sexually violent predator” at the request of the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office and was committed yet again to a state hospital. A judge there ruled in May of this year that Hubbart should be freed under tight supervision in Los Angeles County, where he grew up and briefly lived the last time he was released from prison in 1993.
Hubbart will not be released until housing has been arranged and approved by a judge. Once freed, Hubbart will be required to wear an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, report his movements and submit to regular polygraph testing.
Hubbart’s attorney, Santa Clara County Deputy Public Defender Jeff Dunn, has stated that Hubbart had received years of intensive treatment and is no longer a public safety risk. Dunn also said Hubbart’s request for release has been supported by his psychologist at Coalinga State Hospital, as well as the hospital’s medical director.
Hubbart is one of some 500 offenders in California who have been confined under the Sexually Violent Predators Act, which allows authorities to commit predators to state hospitals if they are deemed to have disorders that make them likely to re-offend. Hubbart was one of the first individuals to be committed when the law took effect in 1996.
A “sexually violent predator,” according to the California Department of State Hospitals, is an individual who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and has a diagnosed mental disorder making the person a danger to the safety of others in that it’s likely he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior.
* * * * *
I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for much of my life and have resided in the Los Angeles Area for the past 10 years. Frankly, I don’t want Hubbart released to either area. Although various medical experts have stated that he no longer poses a risk, the record shows that he was released and re-offended on two previous occasions. It’s true that his last conviction occurred approximately two decades ago while he was on parole, so he has had plenty of time to respond to “years of intensive” psycho-therapeutic treatment. It is somewhat hard to believe, however, that with his track record, he can ever be fully cured. The best hope is that — based on the tight monitoring he will undergo upon his release — he will simply be unable to “buy enough daylight” to commit any further sex crimes.
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