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Release of serial rapist becomes more of a reality

A California appeals court has declined to intervene in the imminent release of a serial rapist who formerly resided in Claremont.

The Sixth District Court of Appeals Tuesday denied a writ filed by District Attorney Jackie Lacey earlier this month. Ms. Lacey challenged the re-release of 62-year-old Christopher Evans Hubbart into the Los Angeles area after admittedly raping more than 40 women.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert T Brown in May granted the conditional release of Christopher Evans Hubbart, 62, previously referred to as the “pillowcase rapist,” after Mr. Hubbart passed a psychological examination. Mr. Hubbart, “would not be a danger to others due to his diagnosed mental disorder while under the supervision and treatment in the community,” according to the judge.

According to city officials, the Department of Mental Health must notify Claremont Police Chief Paul Cooper at least 15
days prior to the submission of a release location to the Superior Court. The LA County District Attorney will also be notified of the proposed location and all notified agencies will be afforded time to submit comments to the Department of Mental Health and the court. The court will consider these comments before a final decision is made on where Mr. Hubbart will be released.

Mr. Hubbart—who has been described by a state official as “uncontrollably compulsive”—has spent the past 30 years in prison and state mental hospitals. He is currently housed at Coalinga State Hospital pending his release, believed to be set for later this year. At that time he will be subject to 24-hour surveillance with a GPS ankle bracelet, drug and polygraph tests as well as a curfew, according to the release terms.

He was first arrested in 1972 in connection with a series of rapes in Los Angeles and San Bernardino County. In 1982, Mr. Hubbart returned to confinement, convicted of rape with force, oral copulation with force and 5 counts of burglary.

Roughly 2 weeks after his parole, he returned to Vacaville in 1990 for false imprisonment. His parole was again cut short a few years later when he failed a routine psychological exam. He has remained in prison since 1994, repeatedly failing psychological examinations. But after completing another treatment program last year, Mr. Hubbart was able to pass the test and has asked to be released.

Though Mr. Hubbart no longer has connections to Claremont or Los Angeles County, local legislators remain guarded. In a letter dated July 11th the city of Claremont asked the court to reconsider the location of Mr. Hubbart’s release.

“Our community is very opposed to having him reside here,” Mayor Nasiali wrote. “Mr. Hubbart should not be released into or anywhere near a college town to prey upon unwary students.”

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich shared his dismay in the court’s ruling.

“The court’s ruling is very disappointing,” Mr. Antonovich said in a statement.  “This court ignored the years of residency established in Santa Clara County and the fact that Hubbart has no family ties to Los Angeles County.”

City of Claremont officials released a statement Wednesday afternoon noting that the city "is well informed of the Welfare and Institutions Code that governs the Department of Mental Health and the process for releasing Mr. Hubbart into the community. We will act aggressively by using our legal rights to oppose his release to our city."

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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