Orange County DA Issues Community Warning Regarding Release of Registered Sex Offenders

Santa Ana–The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is issuing a warning to county residents about seven high risk registered sex offenders who have been released from jail months early despite being charged with cutting off their GPS monitors or otherwise tampering with the tracking devices to render them inoperable.

Many of the registered sex offenders who were released early spent just days behind bars instead of the six months required by law for registered sex offenders who violate parole by removing or disabling GPS monitors. The sex offenders are monitored by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), which submitted the parole violations to the court.

Since April 7, 2020 seven registered sex offenders – with crimes ranging from indecent exposure and sexual battery to child molestation – have been released as a result of rulings by appointed Court Commissioner Joseph Dane.

One of the registered sex offenders, convicted of sexual battery, was released on April 7, 2020 after Commissioner Dane sentenced him 20 days credit time served and ordered him to report to parole. Just two weeks later – on April 24, 2020 – he appeared in court on another parole violation and Commissioner Dane again released him after sentencing him to 16 days credit time served.

Sheriff Don Barnes reported to the Orange County Board of Supervisors today the population in the Orange County jail system has been reduced by nearly 45% since March 7 and there is no overcrowding issue. Sheriff Barnes assured that proper steps, including social distancing, masks, and quarantining of new inmates, are in place.

“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. These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “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.”

As a result of these dangerous decisions to not follow the law, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will not stipulate to appear in front of Commissioner Dane on parole violations involving registered sex offenders.

These seven registered sex offenders were released prior to the minimum 180-day sentence required by law for removing or disabling a GPS monitor.