Wednesday, February 10 , 2016, 2:12 pm | Fair 78º

Sexual Predator Closer to Release in Santa Barbara County

By Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor | @tombol |

Tibor Karsai
Tibor Karsai

A sexually violent predator is a step closer to being released into Santa Barbara County as a transient following a ruling by a state appeals court.

The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento on Thursday denied a petition seeking to prevent Tibor Karsai from being released locally, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

“There is nothing in the (law) that precludes a court from ordering the conditional release of a person committed as a sexually violent predator, even though no fixed residence has been located for the person before his release,” the court wrote in its 21-page ruling.

Karsai, 59, was convicted in 1974 in Santa Barbara of forcible rape, and was paroled three years later to San Luis Obispo.

He was convicted six years later of forcible rape in Placer County, and sentenced to 26 years in state prison. He was then transferred to a state mental hospital, where he was designated as a sexually violent predator.

Karsai was to be released from the mental facility early last year, but that was delayed by a protracted legal fight between officials in Santa Barbara and Placer counties that went all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Last May, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye ordered the matter returned to the Court of Appeal, which previously had ruled against Santa Barbara County.

The legal dispute centers on where Karsai was living before being incarcerated.

Local prosecutors have argued that San Luis Obispo was Karsai’s proper domicile because it was where he resided before being sentenced.

Karsai was to be released from custody through a program run by Liberty Healthcare Group, which provides supervision for people released from prison and mental hospitals.

Local prosecutors objected to Karsai’s placement in a Santa Maria residence because it was within 2,000 feet of a school.

Ultimately, that house wasn’t available, so a Placer County Superior Court judge ruled that Karsai would be released in Santa Barbara County as a transient.

A motion to stay that decision was granted by the Court of Appeal, but that court eventually denied Dudley’s request. The Supreme Court subsequently reversed that decision, and ordered the appeals court to vacate its order.

The Supreme Court also directed that Placer County should be required to “show cause” why Santa Barbara County’s motion should not be granted.

Having lost in the latest round at the appeals court, Dudley said her office will file a new petition with the Supreme Court, and also ask for Karsai’s release to be stayed pending a decision from the high court.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 02.08.13 @ 05:46 PM

There is NOTHING to suggest that this animal will not sexually assault someone’s mother, daughter, sister, or friend again until he is returned to prison.  But libs of course let him go back into society for a third time.
I think the best option would be for him to live with Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and the other judicial nimcompoops, since they obviously feels he’s no threat to society.

» on 02.08.13 @ 09:37 PM

“Libs” let him go??
That judge was first appointed by George Deukmajian, a Republican, then promoted by Pete Wilson, and finally made chief justice by Schwarzenegger. Which one of those was a liberal?

» on 02.08.13 @ 10:50 PM

Back out in our society?
This doesn’t seem logical to me.

» on 02.09.13 @ 04:55 AM

Interloper, I like your solution.

» on 02.09.13 @ 12:38 PM

Even more insane is that judge’s decision that if no place can be located for him to be housed it’s OK to just release him to live on the streets as a transient. That will surely help the authorities to monitor his behavior…....  Stupid!

» on 02.09.13 @ 10:47 PM

It’s a completely insane ruling. They couldn’t find an appropriate sex offender address in the entire state? This animal knows nothing but violence and prison. He’s going to commit another crime, guaranteed, and there should be a way to hold Judge Cantil-Sakauye responsible.

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