Due to the coronavirus pandemic, several inmates have been released from prison. This then caused a California DA to warn the public that seven “high-risk sex offenders” were freed. Authorities let them go between April 7th and April 22nd.
“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend. They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break.”
“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. It is not the Court’s responsibility to control the jail population by releasing these dangerous criminals back into our communities. The residents of Orange County deserve to have the peace of mind that registered sex offenders are being held accountable and not just let out the front door of a jail by a court commissioner who refuses to follow the law,” Spitzer also said.
Additionally, ABC7 reported that Court Commissioner Joseph Dane released the sex offenders this month. This happened “despite being charged with tampering with their GPS monitoring devices,” the D.A.'s office said in a news release.
Misusing Emergency Powers
"Full quarantine imposed at Orange County central jail after 4 more inmates contract coronavirus"
"No inmates are coming in or leaving the Santa Ana facility during the lockdown and movements are restricted."https://t.co/8PIdQzJKGq
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) April 7, 2020
Spitzer subsequently accuses Dane of misusing pandemic emergency orders.
“This court commissioner is continuing to use his ability to cite the pandemic as a reason not to impose the mandatory 180 days,” Spitzer said.
According to Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, no reason exists for the early release. After all, overcrowding in jails doesn't happen and several measures exist to allow physical distancing between inmates.
“These inmates were released by court order, and are not in any way connected to the measures I have taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Orange County Jail,” Barnes said in a statement. “We have responsibly created the capacity needed in the jail to house sex offenders and other dangerous criminals. I oppose efforts that excuse criminal behavior and jeopardize the safety of our community.”
A press release from the Office of the District Attorney also reveals the names of the sex offenders. The statement also explains that the purpose of the release of information “is to allow members of the public to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders. (Penal Code section 290.45 (a)(2)) Any use of this information other than for the stated purpose is unlawful.”
The sex offenders identified are the following:
- Luis Joel Ramirez, 27
- James Franklin Bowling, 50
- Rudy William Grajeda Magdaleno, 39
- Calvin Curtis Coleman, 52
- Kyle Albert Winton, 40
- Jose Adrian Oregel, 46
- Mario Ernesto Sandoval, 45
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