SANTA ANA, Calif.–A twice-convicted child molester, sentenced indefinitely to a state hospital, won an appeal that entitles him to a hearing that could lead to his release, court records showed today.

Sid Landau, 71, was found to be a sexually violent predator and confined indefinitely to a state hospital on April 24, 2009. As a sexually violent predator, he is evaluated each year to see if he still needs to be hospitalized.

An evaluator at the Coalinga State Mental Hospital determined that, while he remains a pedophile, he no longer poses a danger and could be treated as an outpatient, but the director of the hospital disagreed.

On Oct. 13, Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue ruled that Landau could not have a hearing on his petition for release, because the hospital director would not let Landau file the petition.

A panel of Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Monday that a hospital director cannot overrule an evaluator, and Landau has the right to a “show cause hearing.” If probable cause is found then Landau would have a right to a jury trial.

The panel, led by Justice Eileen Moore and including justices Kathleen O’Leary and William Bedsworth, also rejected Landau’s request to have Donahue disqualified from future hearings.

Landau has been confined to mental hospitals since 2000.

Landau was convicted in 1982 of molesting a 10-year-old Anaheim boy and sentenced to three years in prison. He pleaded guilty in 1988 to molesting a 9-year-old boy and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He served eight years and was paroled in 1996.

Landau spent the next four years in and out of prison for violating his parole. When his latest prison term ended in 2000, prosecutors filed a petition to have him declared a sexually violent predator, and he was sent to a mental hospital.