Lawtis Donald Rhoden (309315)

The City of Lancaster’s Mayor, Vice Mayor, and City Council are calling for action over the relocation of a violent, sexual predator to Lancaster. City leadership are calling on the community for urgent action in order to prevent the Orange County Superior courts from placing criminal Lawtis Donald Rhoden, a sexually violent predator with multiple sexual assault convictions and a history of reoffending, in the city.

“The City of Lancaster will not stand for having sexually violent predators like Rhoden shipped here from Orange County or elsewhere,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We are committed to safety in the City of Lancaster, and we will do everything we can to protect our community’s families and children. Join us in speaking out and keeping Lancaster safe for our families!”

Rhoden, who has been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old and four more sexual assaults on children, has Orange County as his “official place of domicile.” Currently an OC Superior Court judge is determining whether Rhoden should be placed under supervised release and whether his placement may be in the Antelope Valley.

“This is the second proposed placement of a sexually violent predator in the Antelope Valley in the past several months. Enough is enough. This is becoming an issue of equity and we cannot allow the North County to be a recurrent location for violent criminals who have no nexus or connection to the area,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Barger, who represents the Antelope Valley region.

“Lawtis Donald Rhoden is a sexually violent predator who has committed heinous crimes against women and girls across multiple regions over the past 50 years.” she added. “The Orange County Superior Court determined Orange County as Rhoden’s official ‘place of domicile,’ and in 2019 ruled that he can be conditionally released to the community. Any proposed placements suggested by CONREP, the state contractor responsible for identifying possible locations, should be within Orange County. I find it hard to believe that none have been found, forcing the search to extend to Los Angeles and other surrounding counties.”

“Lancaster will not be a haven for violent criminals. We are calling on our community to take a stand with us. We will not allow this to happen and we will continue to fight for the protection of our community,” warned Vice Mayor Marvin E. Crist. “We owe it to the young people of Lancaster to fight for their safety. My fellow city council members stand together in opposition to the mere suggestion of sending Rhoden here and putting our youth at risk.”