PALMDALE – “Keep Christopher Hubbart away from the Antelope Valley!” That was the clear message sent by local residents gathered for a press conference outside the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station Friday.
“We’re coming together as a community in unity to make sure that our voices are heard. We don’t want Christopher Hubbart in the Antelope Valley or anywhere else in the High Desert,” said Dr. Miguel Coronado.
Coronado organized the gathering of about three dozen mostly female residents and community leaders, from across the Antelope Valley, to protest the proposed release of the serial rapist.
Hubbart may be housed at 20315 East Avenue R when he is conditionally released, according to Santa Clara County Judge Gilbert Brown. There is no date scheduled for Hubbart’s release, but a public hearing on his proposed residence will be held next month in San Jose.
Hubbart admitted to raping approximately 40 women between 1971 and 1982. He was called the “Pillowcase Rapist” because he muffled his victims’ screams with a pillowcase over their heads. View a timeline of Hubbart’s criminal, social, and legal history here.
Despite his heinous crimes, Hubbart was granted a conditional release last year to Los Angeles County. He was originally slated for release to an Antelope Valley home at 17132 Laredo Vista Avenue, but the property owner withdrew his property amid public outcry.
Last week, Judge Brown announced the second Antelope Valley location (20315 East Avenue R) for Hubbart’s conditional release.
“Stop the serial dumpings in the Antelope Valley!” Angelica Navarrete said, while fighting back tears Friday morning.
Navarrete said she lives one mile away from Hubbart’s initially proposed location and six miles away from the second proposed location. Residents in her area fought hard to keep Hubbart away last year, only to find out that a new Antelope Valley location was being proposed, Navarrete said.
“This is frustrating… we’re tired of it!” Navarrete said, adding that she and other women in her neighborhood were terrified and living in fear.
For Lancaster teen Amber Broaden, the situation hits especially close to home. Broaden said she was raped as a young child by a predator who lived down the street.
“I’ve recovered as much as is possible to recover from my experience, and right now I’m more worried about the other people in my community,” Broaden said. “It’s a threat to have [Hubbart] out here, and I’m committed to making sure that he is not in our community at all.”
Palmdale resident Cynthia Beverly said she too was raped, at gunpoint, and she’s dealt with it every day of her life since it happened.
“We cannot let this happen to our children, we cannot let this happen to our women in this community,” Beverly said, tears streaming down her face. “No matter what it takes, I will stand for this cause.”
The grassroots group has organized a Prayer Vigil for April 23 at the Antelope Valley courthouse, starting 6:30 p.m., said local resident Joanne Granai.
“If we can come together, every faith, and hold hands, stand together and put our voices up in prayer, it is amazing what things can happen,” Granai said.
The group has also taken to social media to spread awareness about Hubbart’s proposed release. The Facebook page titled “No Christopher Hubbart in the Antelope Valley” updates residents on efforts and local events aimed at blocking Hubbart’s release to the Antelope Valley. Visit the Facebook page here. To follow the efforts on Twitter, visit @NoRapistsInHD
Valley Oasis Program Director Liza Rodriguez said the Sexual Assault Response Team will be holding self-defense classes for local women near Hubbart’s proposed location.
“To provide women with the education [necessary] to be able to get out of these situations,” Rodriguez said Friday. “It’s for anybody in the Antelope Valley that wants to come and take the class.”
For more information on the upcoming self-defense classes, contact Valley Oasis at 661-949-6143.
Most important, they’re encouraging residents to put their concerns in writing to the judge who granted Hubbart’s conditional release. Judge Brown will hold a San Jose public hearing on May 21, 2014 on Hubbart’s proposed residence.
The public has until May 16 to submit written public comments to Judge Brown by email to HubbartLASafetyTaskForce@da.lacounty.gov or by mail to:
Hubbart L.A. Safety Task Force
c/o L.A. County District Attorney’s Office
Sex Crimes Division
320 West Temple Street, Room 777
Los Angeles, CA 90012
For more information on local efforts and events aimed at blocking Hubbart’s release to the Antelope Valley, contact Dr. Miguel Coronado at (661) 466-6810 or email Agentsofchange13@gmail.com.
Previous related stories: