Serial rapist Christopher Hubbart to be released near Palmdale
by Christina Villacorte and Wes Woods
A judge in San Jose ruled Friday that serial rapist Christopher Hubbart would be released possibly as soon as December to an Antelope Valley community about 20 miles east of Palmdale.
Hubbart, 62, will be released to rural Lake Los Angeles, and not Claremont, which officials there had feared.
Hubbart, who was born and raised in Los Angeles County, hasn't lived in the county since 1972, except when he was paroled to Southern California for two months in 1993 and lived in Claremont.
At a news conference after Friday's court ruling, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich was outraged Judge Gilbert Brown allowed the notorious serial rapist to live in the 17000 block of Laredo Vista Ave. in Lake Los Angeles.
“Hubbart's monstrous crimes against women should not have granted him conditional release anywhere,” Antonovich said.
“Hubbart is a violent sex predator believed to have raped as many as 40 women in a 10-year period,” Antonovich added. “He has admitted to raping 26 women in the Los Angeles area in the early 1970's and an additional 15 were in the San Francisco Bay area in the early 1980s.”
Antonovich is worried Hubbart's lodgings might give him easy access to new victims.
“This is very close to Stephen Sorensen County Park, which has a baseball diamond and other family-friendly amenities, and to Twin Lakes Community Church, which has a community meeting room and a youth ministry,” Antonovich said.
Antonovich's spokesman, Tony Bell, complained the park is about 2,200 feet away from the Hubbart's proposed address. Under Jessica's Law, sex offenders are barred from living within 2,000 feet of parks and schools.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors could approve a motion Tuesday to oppose Hubbart's release. The judge will hear it, and other public comment, over the next 45 days.
The judge issued his ruling Friday morning in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, in San Jose.
Judge Brown approved in May Hubbart's request for a conditional release from custody and determined he would be sent to Los Angeles County.
Hubbart admitted between 1971 and 1982 to raping 40 women throughout the state including 26 women in Los Angeles County, according to a news release from Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
“It's unfortunate. This type of individual should not be released into any community,” said Claremont City Manager Tony Ramos on Friday.
Palmdale councilman Tom Lackey said city officials would oppose Hubbart's release.
“We would be part of any resistance,” Lackey said. “A serial rapist is of deep concern with any community. There will be opposition. You can count on that.“
In an email interview in May, California Department of State Hospitals Assistant Director Ken August was asked if a patient's conditional release was approved in April, would that mean the judge back in April also saw the treatment plan and approved it.
“Yes, the judge saw the treatment plan (also known as the Terms and Conditions of Release) back in April and approved it,” August said. “Copies are available from the court or the district attorney. A treatment plan is always submitted in the form of Terms and Conditions of Release for each individual. This is approved by the court before the patient is ordered into conditional release.”
August was asked how long does CONREP, or the Forensic Conditional Release Program, last. CONREP is the Department of Mental Health's statewide system of community-based services for specified forensic patients.
“Conditional release is ordered by the court, as a result, there is no typical time frame,” August said. “The court determines when a person no longer needs to be supervised under a conditional release. Sexually violent predators receive an intensive regimen of treatment and supervision that includes at least weekly individual contact by supervision staff, specialized sex offender treatment, weekly drug screening, surveillance, polygraph examinations, and active global positioning system tracking.
Security is usually in place 24 hours a day and seven days a week when initially released. Security reduces over time depending upon behavior and improvements. The level of security is continuously evaluated based on the patient's behavior and improvements.
The amount of time security remains in place varies from patient to patient.
Security can be eliminated if and when two conditions are met:
• The patient demonstrates he is appropriately adjusting to the community.
• The risks are determined to be at a minimum.
The use of security does not change other requirements for the patient. In other words, the patient will remain under GPS monitoring; the home or living unit is still subject to searches; and the individual must still report to in-person meetings, etc. The close supervision is there to guard against the individual committing any new crimes. Any failure to follow the rules regarding treatment, drug screening, surveillance and examinations may result in a return to custody.