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The release of a convicted sex offender has prompted scathing rebukes of the state of California and a petition demanding action from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The Orange County District Attorney, Orange County Board of Supervisors and others are calling on the Democratic governor to intervene after a 59-year-old man was released from a California state psychiatric facility where he had been treated for over two decades. Cary Jay Smith is not listed on the California sex offender registry but “claims to have killed three boys and molested 200 others.”
Orange County residents were warned about the “dangerous sex offender” who was released Tuesday after 21 years of “forced hospitalization” in a press release from the District Attorney’s office.
Smith has reportedly moved around Southern California a few times since his release, amid protests in the communities. He was last reported to have relocated to San Diego County, according to KABC, which reported that police were keeping him under 24-hour watch in an effort to prevent him from attacking anyone.
Smith was sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino in 1999 “on a 72-hour psychiatric hold,” the DA’s press release noted, explaining that his wife had “provided a psychiatrist with a letter in which Smith described sex acts he wanted to perform on a 7-year-old boy who lived in his Costa Mesa neighborhood.”
A series of civil trials determined that he presented a “demonstrated danger of inflicting substantial physical harm” to children, and kept Smith under state-custody, subject to a new trial every six months to “demonstrate that he is no longer a danger to society.”
During those hearings, Smith — who referred to himself as “Mr. RTK,” or ‘Rape, Torture, Kill,” revealed that he fantasized about raping and then killing young boys. While he was convicted in 1985 of a misdemeanor sexual offense involving a child, the requirement for him to register as a sex offender expired in 2005 and was removed.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel are urging Newsom to reinstate that registration requirement and nearly 35,000 people have signed a petition doing the same.
“This sexual predator has repeatedly testified under oath that he will re-offend if he is released and we should believe him,” Spitzer said in a statement.
“As a state legislator, I was the author and founder of the State of California Sex Offender Management Board and the author of Megan’s Law on the Internet, which allows the public to see where these sex offenders are so that they can protect themselves and their families,” he added. “The public has an absolute right to know that he is coming back into our community, and we will do everything we can to prevent another child from being harmed.”
Steel echoed the sentiments as she slammed the state for releasing the dangerous convict.
“After over 20 years in confinement, Coalinga State Hospital has released Cary Jay Smith, a child sex offender from Orange County, back into our community,” Steel said in a statement.
“Smith, an unstable individual, has openly made threats to rape and murder children and has stated that he would reoffend upon his release,” Steel added. “The fact that he is being released back into our community is unconscionable. We must take this threat to our community very seriously and ensure that everyone in Orange County is aware of this individual’s grave threat to our children.”
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