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‘Sexually Violent Predator’ Tibor Karsai Seeks to End Post-Release Supervision

Tibor Karsai
Tibor Karsai

A repeat rapist deemed a sexually violent predator wants to end his supervision after five years of being monitored while living in the Santa Maria Valley.

Tibor Karsai, 64, appeared in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Wednesday for a brief hearing before Judge James Iwasko.

Upon his release from a state mental hospital and return to Santa Barbara County in 2013, Karsai was listed as a transient living in a recreational vehicle with supervision from Liberty Healthcare Corporation representatives.

In 2015, Karsai moved to ranch property at 5935 Dominion Road, southeast of Orcutt, where the supervision remained at a reduced level.

Karsai was convicted of forcibly raping a 19-year-old woman in Santa Barbara in 1974 and was paroled three years later to San Luis Obispo. 

He later was convicted of forcible rape of a 16-year-old girl in Auburn in Placer County, and sentenced to 26 years in state prison in 1982. 

In 1985, Karsai and another inmate escaped from Donovan Vocational Institution in San Diego. They were arrested shortly after, and returned to prison for an additional seven-year term.

After completing his prison sentence, Karsai was later transferred to a state mental hospital and designated as a sexually violent predator.

That designation is assigned after a conviction of a sexually violent offense involving one or more victims, a diagnosis of a mental disorder that makes a person a danger to the health and safety of others and a belief a defendant will engage in the sexually violent criminal behavior again.

A small percentage of offenders, or 1 percent, are classified as sexually violent predators, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said previously.

As the end of his confinement neared, a lengthy legal battle occurred between Placer County and Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, which twice went all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Despite objections from the District Attorney’s Office, Karsai was released in Santa Barbara County as a transient in April 2013.

At the time, authorities said Karsai had family in Santa Maria, but that he was not able to stay at home which sat within 2,000 feet of a school. 

In 2015, Karsai moved to the ranch in eastern Santa Maria Valley and his around-the-clock monitoring ended with his relocation to a fixed residence. 

Wednesday’s short hearing focused on Karsai's petition for unconditional release, essentially seeking to end the close monitoring for the man who has been classified among the worst offenders.

“The judge signed an order to appoint the two doctors from the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to write reports regarding whether he is no longer a danger to the health and safety of others in that it is not likely that he will engage in sexually violent criminal behavior,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Gresser said.

The judge ordered the attorneys and Karsai to return July 11, when the doctors’ evaluations should be completed.

Defense attorney Brian Carroll represented Karsai during the hearing while Deputy District Attorney Cory Graves appeared on behalf of the prosecution. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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.

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