SANTA BARBARA COUNTY - The California State Court of Appeals has upheld a decision that would allow the release of a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) into Santa Barbara County.
It's shaping up to be a landmark case that now appears headed for California's highest court.
Tibor Karsai was twice convicted of forcible rape of young women dating back to 1974 when he was 22 years old.
Now nearly 60, a judge in Northern California has ruled Karsai is eligible for prison release as a transient to supervised residential treatment in Santa Barbara County.
County District Attorney Joyce Dudley challenged the judge's decision to release Karsai and was granted a stay of the release while it was considered by the State Court of Appeal.
The Appellate Court has, for the second time, upheld the judge's decision ruling there's nothing in the law to prevent the release of a Sexually Violent Predator as a transient to any county for supervised treatment.
Dudley plans to petition the matter to the California State Supreme Court.
"It violates public safety to release a Sexually Violent Predator in Santa Barbara County, not only the safety of the members of our county but also the safety of the sexually violent predator", Dudley tells Central Coast News, "it doesn't give the predator what the predator needs in order to be successful which is supervision, a home and a program, it just says they can release him as a transient."
Santa Barbara County had previously argued Karsai should be released to San Luis Obispo County because Morro Bay was his last known legal address before he went away to prison for the second time.
Santa Barbara County now has 40 days to file the petition blocking Karsai's release to the State Supreme Court and expects to do so shortly.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley plans to seek another stay of Karsai's release pending the State Supreme Court's decision, if it decides to hear the case.
In the meantime, Karsai remains locked up in prison.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 3:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 19:46:52 GMT
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