The so-called “Pillowcase Rapist,” who admitted raping 40 women between 1971 and 1982, was released Wednesday to a home in an unincorporated area near Palmdale.
The release came despite impassioned pleas from residents and elected officials who objected to Christopher Evans Hubbart’s release from Coalinga State Hospital. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Supervisor Mike Antonovich were among those balking at Hubbart’s release to a home at 20315 East Avenue R.
“We took every legal action at our disposal to try to stop his return to our community. Now, we are preparing for his arrival ... We will do everything within our authority to protect the residents of Los Angeles County from this dangerous predator,” Lacey said in May.
Lacey said then that “many safety precautions” will be in place, including a requirement that Hubbart wear a GPS ankle monitor 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
He will be taken twice a week to group and individual therapy sessions, and a program supervisor will accompany him whenever he goes out in public for the first six months to a year following his release. Hubbart also will be required to report to a judge in San Jose for quarterly reports on his progress.
A judge who ruled in April that Hubbart would live at the Palmdale-area home wasn’t swayed by the 4,000-plus letters, emails and postcards that the District Attorney’s Office received in opposition to the move.
California law requires that a sexually violent predator be conditionally released to the county of his or her domicile “prior to the person’s incarceration,” and Los Angeles County prosecutors argued that Hubbart lived in Santa Clara County in the years leading to his last arrest and no longer has family living in Los Angeles County, where he grew up.
An appeals court panel and the state Supreme Court declined to overturn Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert T. Brown’s ruling, which found Los Angeles County to be Hubbart’s domicile prior to his incarceration.
The judge ruled last October that Hubbart could be housed in Lake Los Angeles upon his release, but the owner of the house where he was set to live withdrew the property from consideration the following month.
Hubbart was designated a sexually violent predator in Santa Clara County in 1996 and has remained in custody in state hospitals since then. His lawyers argued that Hubbart’s continuing detention violated his rights to due process, sparking a battle over where he should live.
Hubbart was sent to Atascadero State Hospital in 1972 after the court deemed him a “mentally disordered sex offender.” Seven years later, doctors said he posed no threat and released him.
Over the next two years, he raped another 15 women in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to court documents. Hubbart was again imprisoned, then paroled in 1990.
After accosting a woman in Santa Clara County, he was sent back to prison and then to Coalinga State Hospital.