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Bay Area Judge’s Decision To Release Sex Predator Being Challenged

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Christopher Evans Hubbart has been convicted of raping 40 women throughout California, including 15 in the Bay Area. (CBS)

Christopher Evans Hubbart has been convicted of raping 40 women throughout California, including 15 in the Bay Area. (CBS)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Tuesday her office will challenge a Bay Area judge’s decision to release a sexually violent predator in Los Angeles County.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown granted convicted serial rapist Christopher Evans Hubbart, 62, a conditional release from custody in May.

The decision was made despite an argument against it by a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney in May, spokeswoman Jean Guccione said.

According to the district attorney’s office, Hubbart has acknowledged raping 40 women in California between 1971 and 1982, including 26 women in Los Angeles County.

The writ, which was filed Tuesday, does not contest the judge’s decision to allow Hubbart’s conditional release, only the location of his release. Prosecutors say Hubbart was born and raised in LA County and considers it home. But the writ argues that Hubbart has no living relatives in Los Angeles County and that he primarily lived and committed his more recent crimes in Santa Clara County.

A public defender representing Hubbart could not be reached for comment.

Hubbart was 21 when convicted in 1972 of sodomy, rape and burglary in Los Angeles County. He was committed to the state prison hospital at Atascadero and paroled seven years later.

He moved to Sunnyvale and worked in a printing shop, but soon began attacking women again.

“He committed rapes, sodomy, and forcible oral copulation in San Francisco, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara of more than 23 victims at a rate of over two victims a month until November 1981,” the writ states.

In 1982, Hubbart was convicted of false imprisonment, rape, and forced oral copulation in connection with the series of assaults and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Hubbart, however, was paroled in April 1990. Two months later he was arrested and convicted of false imprisonment for an attack on a jogger.

His prison term was due to end in January 1996, but he was instead admitted to a state hospital under a then newly-enacted law that allowed sexually violent predators to be civilly committed for treatment.

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 under the supervision of Liberty Healthcare Corporation.

The decision to release Hubbart was made by a panel of professionals at the state hospital who have followed and analyzed his progress.

Release terms would require him to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, continue treatment, obey a curfew and be subject to random searches and seizures, drug testing and polygraphs. Unlike prior releases, he will be monitored 24/7.

“All of these guys are sort of the worst of the worst when you think of sexually violent predators,” Tracey said. “That being said, they’re being more heavily supervised than a lot of other prisoners getting out of prison today, even sex offenders.”

For now, Hubbart remains at Coalinga State Hospital while officials search for his housing.

Officials will have monthly hearings to discuss whether housing has been found for Hubbart. If it can’t be found within a year, Tracey said, there is precedent for a judge ordering a “homeless release,” which would be “a nightmare from a public safety standpoint and a supervision standpoint.”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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