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Misinformation follows possible release of rapist from long jail sentence

Tensions ran high this week after several television news outlets reported that a former Claremont resident, who has admittedly raped more than 40 women in California, was set to be released from prison.

After nearly 30 years in prisobasen and state mental hospitals, Christopher Evans Hubbart, 62, known as the “pillowcase rapist,” would be freed in Los Angeles County in November under the condition he be heavily supervised. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert T. Brown made the decision in May after Mr. Hubbart passed a psychological examination, despite previously failed attempts. Based on results from his most recent exam and at the recommendation of the Coalinga State Hospital, Judge Brown determined Mr. Hubbart “would not be a danger to others due to his diagnosed mental disorder while under the supervision and treatment in the community."

Mr. Hubbart—who has been described by a state official as “uncontrollably compulsive”—was first arrested in 1972 in connection with a series of rapes in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County. A year later, he was sentenced to 7 years at Atascadero State Hospital, a facility for mentally disordered sex offenders. In 1982, not long after his release, Mr. Hubbart returned to confinement once again after being convicted of rape with force, oral copulation with force and 5 counts of burglary. He was given a 16-year sentence, which was cut in half due to good behavior. But this wasn’t the end of his troubles.

Mr. Hubbart returned to Vacaville in 1990, roughly 2 weeks after his parole, when he was arrested for false imprisonment. He was again released for a short period in 1993 and returned to his parent’s home in Claremont for about 6 weeks, until his parole was revoked after he failed a routine psychological exam.

A year later, in March of 1994, Mr. Hubbart suffered the same fate after failing a psychological exam administered just 8 hours after he was released from prison. Mr. Hubbart’s parole officers noted that “he reported feeling that he was losing control of himself.” Protesters crowded in front of city hall and, the following day, in front of the home of Mr. Hubbart’s parents to call for a ban on his release to Claremont from a Chino prison, according to a March 1994 Claremont COURIER article.

He has remained in prison since 1994, repeatedly failing psychological examinations. But after completing another treatment program last year, Mr. Hubbart asked to be released.

Although Mr. Hubbart no longer has ties to the city of Claremont—his parents are deceased and the family’s Base Line Road home has been sold—residents remain weary of his impending release. Claremont residents took to social media sites Wednesday, July 10 to express dismay at his possible release.

County prosecutors and local legislators are joining the rally to keep Mr. Hubbart behind bars. Los Angeles prosecutors have filed an injunction to keep Mr. Hubbart from being released in Los Angeles County, instead proposing he be freed in Santa Clara. In a recent statement, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich added his support to the District Attorney’s filing.  

“Based on his criminal history, the state’s planned release of this predator into our communities will create a very serious public safety threat,” Mr. Antonovich said. “Obviously, the prison sentence for this criminal failed to match his crimes – a predator of this nature deserves life without parole.”

The Claremont police say they have yet to be notified by the District Attorney or anyone else familiar with the Hubbard case about the case, and assert there is no indication that Mr. Hubbard would come back to Claremont should he be released.

In the meantime, the city of Claremont has entered a letter of opposition against Mr. Hubbart’s release and City Manager Tony Ramos noted at Tuesday nights City Council meeting that the city will be keeping an eye on Mr. Hubbart’s whereabouts.

“We are aware of it, our chief of police is aware of it. We are keeping an eye on the situation,” Mr. Ramos said.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com 

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