A handful of residents on Wednesday decried the proposed release of the “Pillowcase Rapist”— who admitted raping about 40 women between 1971 and 1982—in the Palmdale area.
Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown ruled in April that Christopher Evans Hubbart, 63, would live at a home at 20315 East Avenue R. That ruling was subject to a 45-day public comment period, and Brown convened a hearing Wednesday in San Jose to hear from residents.
About five residents voiced their opposition to Hubbart being released in the area. Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, also spoke out against Hubbart’s proposed housing, along with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Chief William McSweeney.
Members of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office’s Sex Crimes Division delivered letters and comments collected from residents. According to the District Attorney’s office, it received more than 4,000 letters, emails and postcards, mostly in opposition to Hubbart’s release in the Palmdale area.
Brown did not make any final decisions regarding Hubbart’s release, and it was unclear when the proposed release to Palmdale would be finalized. Once such a decision is made, Hubbart will be sent to the area within 45 days, the judge said.
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.
Brown ruled last May that the rapist should be released to live somewhere in Los Angeles County, a decision District Attorney Jackie Lacey contended was in error.
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,” according to prosecutors. They say 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.
However, an appeals court and the state Supreme Court declined to overturn Brown’s ruling.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has called the proposal that Hubbart live in Palmdale “outrageous” and called for him to remain in an institution.
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.