LANCASTER – Reacting to the potential release of serial rapist Christopher Hubbart into the community of Lake Los Angeles, local residents are concerned the Antelope Valley has become a dumping ground for sex offenders.
According to numbers provided by the Megan’s Law database, approximately 673 registered sex offenders reside in the Antelope Valley. This number accounts for roughly 6 percent of the 11,520 total registered sex offenders residing in Los Angeles County, according to the database.
However, these statistics provided by the Megan’s Law website do not accurately reflect the total number of registered sex offenders in the Antelope Valley.
876 registered sex offenders in the AV
The actual number of registered sex offenders for the Antelope Valley is currently 876, according to officials from the Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s stations. This number includes 539 for Lancaster’s jurisdiction, according to Law Enforcement Technician Melissa Dorsey of the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, and 337 for Palmdale’s jurisdiction, according to Detective D. McCormick of the Palmdale Station.
The discrepancy in numbers between registered offenders made public by Megan’s Law and the comprehensive number provided by local Sheriff’s officials is because not all registered sex offenders are counted in the Megan’s Law database, according to California State Adult Parole Operations Supervisor Larry Dorsey.
“There are only certain penal code sections and certain convictions that require them to be made public under Megan’s Law,” said Larry Dorsey, who heads the GPS Unit of the Antelope Valley Parole Office in Lancaster. “For example, anyone with an indecent exposure, depending on the case, may not be on there.”
The Megan’s Law website discloses the home address and/ or the zip code of registered sex offenders residing in an area depending on the type of sex offense under Penal Code section 290. However, there is an undisclosed category of registered sex offenders not displayed on the Megan’s Law website, which includes offenders who “must still register as sex offenders with local law enforcement agencies, and are known to law enforcement,” according to a summary of Megan’s Law provided at http://meganslaw.ca.gov/registration/law.htm.
Melissa Dorsey said a lot of this depends on who the sex offender’s victim was and of what the offender was convicted.
“Not all penal code sections justify them being on the public side,” Melissa Dorsey said. “So the number the public would see is different from the number we see on the law enforcement side.”
Local sex offender parolees under constant supervision
Parole Operations Supervisor Larry Dorsey said his office currently monitors 130 of the Antelope Valley’s registered sex offenders. These registrants are parolees and are monitored daily through GPS – or Global Position Satellite monitoring.
“Our agents must see them twice a month at their residence, and they are tracked daily,” he said. “Every day [agents] have to monitor their tracks and see what they did the night before.”
Dorsey recommended that members of the public view an online documentary (see below) that demonstrates how the Parole Division of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation tracks paroled sex offenders on a daily basis using GPS.
There are occasions when paroled sex offenders have escaped monitoring in the Antelope Valley. Though Dorsey did not have an exact count for the last year, he did say the number varies.
“We may get zero for the month, we may get one a month,” he said. “But I can tell you that our unit here in the Antelope Valley is aggressive when these individuals cut off their bracelet. We immediately place a warrant out for them, and we notify local law enforcement, and also put them on the front page of the paper, asking for the public’s help.”
Dorsey said monthly parole sweeps are another measure for ensuring parolees are in compliance with the conditions of their parole.
“Last week we had a parole sweep for all the sex offenders in the Antelope Valley, and we placed eight in custody,” he told the AV Times. “We are, here in the Antelope Valley, proactive when dealing with our offenders.”
In addition to the monthly sweeps, parolees are also required to undergo monthly drug testing at the Antelope Valley office.
“We test them for anything from using alcohol to controlled substances, but we are very proactive here in this office,” he said. “And if a parolee is found to be in violation of their parole, we will place them into custody.”
When asked if he thought the Antelope Valley was a dumping ground for sex offenders, Dorsey replied, “Absolutely not.”
Sex offenders signal alarm for Antelope Valley residents
Some local activists have a different opinion. They see an ongoing threat to their communities based on the perception that the Antelope Valley will continue to serve as a “dumping ground” for sex offenders.
“Look at our own statistics. We have 168 serial rapists in Lake LA alone,” said Lake Los Angeles resident Marci Navarrete, who compiled her numbers from the Megan’s Law website.
Navarrete is a vocal member of the Ladies of Lake LA, a local group that is leading an effort across the High Desert to stop the courts from releasing Christopher Hubbart, known as the Pillowcase Rapist, into their community.
The group has received unconditional support from public officials such as Assemblyman Steve Fox, State Senator Steve Knight, Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lackey, and State Assembly candidate JD Kennedy, Navarrete said.
“It doesn’t seem legal to put someone in our county that doesn’t correspond to Los Angeles County since he last resided in San Bernardino and committed a crime in Santa Clara. He could wind up in Santa Clara, but they don’t want him there because it’s a high-income area,” Navarrete said. “They’re just trying to get this man in here through a loophole and dump him on LA County.”
Aside from their letter-signing campaign to petition the Santa Clara judge to reconsider Hubbart’s release into the community, the group’s latest campaign to raise awareness is the strategic placement of two electronic billboards on Sierra Highway between Avenues L and M, and alongside the 14 Freeway between Avenues H and I.
“To educate people on what’s going on,” Ladies of Lake LA member Debbie Hill said. “JD Kennedy was able to assist us with these, along with Lamar Outdoor Advertising, who is handling the billboards. Because they support our cause, they went ahead and gave us time on the Sierra Highway billboard.”
For information on upcoming events organized by the Ladies of Lake LA, visit their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/nopillowcaserapeist.
Breaking down the numbers
The Megan’s Law database at www.meganslaw.ca.gov lists a total of 11,520 registered sex offenders as residents for Los Angeles County. The following is a Megan’s Law tabulation of the 673 sex offenders registered in the Antelope Valley, arranged by zip code for various local areas. Note that these numbers differ from the total number of registered sex offenders (876) provided by the Lancaster and Palmdale Sheriff’s stations (as explained above).
Total for Lancaster area: 357
Lancaster/ 93534: 118
Lancaster (including 3 from Lake Los Angeles)/ 93535: 167
Lancaster (including 1 from Quartz Hill)/ 93536: 72
Total for Palmdale area: 183
Palmdale/ 93550: 105
Palmdale/ 93551: 26
Palmdale/ 93552: 34
Palmdale (including 3 from Lake Los Angeles)/ 93591: 18
Total for outlying areas: 58
Acton/ 93510: 11
Lake Elizabeth, Lake Hughes/ 93532: 4
Littlerock/ 93543: 29
Llano/ 93544: 10
Pearblossom/ 93553: 4
Total for Santa Clarita area: 75
Santa Clarita (including Agua Dulce and Saugus)/ 91390: 6
Saugus/ 91350: 10
Newhall/ 91321: 23
Canyon Country/ 91351, 91387: 27
Valencia/ 91354, 91355: 9
The public may contact law enforcement agencies of the Antelope Valley with further questions regarding the status of sex offenders by calling the California State Parole Office in Lancaster at 661-729-0530, the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at 661-948-8466, or the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station at 661-272-2400.