Wednesday, July 9
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The so-called "Pillowcase Rapist" was released from a mental hospital and moved into an Antelope Valley home amid protests by community members Wednesday.
Christopher Hubbart, 63, was released from Coalinga State Hospital to an unincorporated area of the county near Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
He was dropped off at 1:40 p.m. in a silver car and hid his face as he walked into the back of the house while staff unloaded suitcases, said Cheryl Holbrook, an area resident who is one of the Ladies of Lake LA, a community group created to fight Hubbart's release to their community. She said a couple guards went in the house and remained with him and two sheriff's patrol cars were on the corner of the street.
"It scares the hell out of me," Holbrook said. "When we saw him coming down the road, I literally got the shakes. I wanted to cry. He's going to reoffend, he's going to attack somebody again, and he's going to take somebody's life."
The decision by a Northern California judge to release Hubbart to a desert community in the Antelope Valley has been met by vociferous opposition from the Los Angeles County district attorney, lawmakers and others. Hubbart has acknowledged raping and assaulting about 40 women between 1971 and 1982. He got his nickname by using a pillowcase to muffle his victims' screams.
Hubbart was ordered released by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown to Los Angeles County last year because he was born and raised there; his more recent crimes were committed in Santa Clara County. When his prison term ended in 1996, he was deemed a sexually violent predator and confined to a state mental hospital.
Release terms require him to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, continue treatment, obey a curfew and be subject to random searches and seizures, drug testing and polygraphs.
Assemblyman Steve Fox released a statement saying "words cannot express" the frustration he feels that Hubbart has been released into the area he represents.
"I believe the court that ordered his release has put the rights of this one rapist above the rights of the families of the Antelope Valley — especially women and children," Fox said. "This fight is not over. Serial rapists and pedophiles belong in prison, not next door."
Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams .