SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Patterson joined Senator Roger Niello in sending a letter to Placer County Superior Court Judge Horst to oppose the release of a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) on transient status.
“I was previously a staff member for a legislator who co-chaired the High-Risk Sex Offender Task Force and authored the legislation to create the Sex Offender Management Board (SOMB). At no time did legislators ever discuss releasing Sexually Violent Predators as transients,” said Assemblyman Joe Patterson. “In fact, legislators were very clear that SVPs needed secure housing and monitoring that would keep the community safe and ensure that they don’t re-victimize.”
Without a designated address, Stephenson’s release is considered a Transient Release. By law, all conditional releases of Sexually Violent Predators must be monitored and supervised by the Department of State Hospitals, including among others, 24-hour GPS monitoring, monitoring of any approved electronics, and unannounced searches. Previous transient release cases have shown to result in repeat offenses, especially with high-risk sex offenders like Stephenson.
“The term Sexually Violent Predator is reserved for the most dangerous criminals,” said Assemblyman Joe Patterson. “A Transient Release should not be granted under any circumstance. It is the responsibility of our judicial system to prioritize public safety. I urge Judge Horst to reconsider this decision and demand that Liberty Healthcare do its job.”
Assemblyman Joe Patterson and Senator Roger Niello jointly sent a letter imploring Judge Horst to revisit his decision. “The safety and well-being of residents in our community should be of paramount importance,” the letter reads. “Given these standards, we are shocked that Mr. Stephenson would be deemed mentally fit and safe to reenter society. This is a man who has been given several chances to change, yet he has chosen to reoffend.”
Assemblyman Patterson encourages concerned residents to join him in opposing the transient release by submitting letters of opposition at www.placer.ca.gov/SVP. Residents can learn more about the case at www.placer.ca.gov/9217/Case-information-SVP-SCV-37867-William-S.
Stephenson has a history of sexual violence dating back to the 1980s. He was sentenced to 30 years in state prison for his crimes. After being conditionally released in 2014, Stephenson violated parole bypassing electronic monitoring and was arrested for possessing child pornography. Stephenson was assessed as a high risk sex offender and committed to the Department of State Hospitals.
Patterson represents the 5th Assembly District, which is comprised of the communities of Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Granite Bay, Auburn, North Auburn, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Newcastle, Penryn, El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, Diamond Springs, Placerville, Shingle Springs, Auburn Lake Trails, Georgetown, Cold Springs, Coloma, Rescue and Cool.