SAN BERNARDINO – The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office fought to keep a violent sex offender out of the county and their efforts have proven successful. Luther B. Evan, a convicted violent predator, who was convicted of burglary, rape, and assault to commit rape petitioned the court for conditional release in August of 2015.
Evan was originally convicted in both 1976 and 1980 of violent crimes; both incidents which included rape. District Attorney’s officials said that in October 2003, Evans was committed as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) by the San Francisco Superior Court and described as a “wanton” and “lawless” Psychopath.
Several years later, the court granted Evan’s petition for a conditional release, releasing him to outpatient treatment. The treatment was to be in San Francisco County, per SVP law requirements. SVP laws do allow for placement in another county if there are extraordinary circumstances, requiring notice to the county prior to release in their county.
During the next 6 months, placement was sought for Evan but they were unable to find it in the nine Bay-area counties. The expanded the search east of Santa Clara County and north to the state line. On May 18th, all involved parties requested placement of Evan in the County of San Bernardino. The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office SVP and Appellate Services Units filed opposition briefs and appeared on behalf of the citizens of San Bernardino County in San Francisco Superior Court to successfully halt the release at this time. The fight continued throughout the six months following.
“So far we have extended every resource at our disposal to stop this predator from entering our community,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “San Bernardino County will not be used as a dumping ground for sexually violent predators.” The proposed release area included Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley, Morongo, as well as neighboring communities.
San Bernardino County District Attorney’s officials said that the SVP prosecutor, Maureen R. O’Connell discovered that the San Francisco Court had never actually had a hearing in which Evans received a civil commitment to the State Mental Hospital as a sexually violent predator, a prerequisite to any outpatient release and supervision.
“As a result of this discovery, the applicable law provided to the court and our arguments, the San Francisco Superior Court rescinded the outpatient placement order and set the case for trial to determine whether Mr. Evans remained a Sexually Violent Predator, subject to placement at the State Hospital,” said O’Connell.
A hearing is scheduled for further proceedings on the case on Jan. 18, 2017 in San Francisco Superior Court. “While California law permits a court to place an SVP in a remote location that has no connection to that individual, it was important for our office to ensure our citizens had a voice before the San Francisco court,” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Robert Brown, who participated in the San Francisco litigation. “When the safety of the community could be placed at risk, we felt it was important to do all that we could to argue against the placement.”
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