SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin) is continuing the fight to protect his community from an impending “transient release” of a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) into Placer County. With the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) moving forward with the release, today he introduced AB 2035 to make clear that transient releases are a threat to safety and should not be allowed. AB 2035, a bipartisan measure, will define qualified housing in state law. Additionally, Assemblyman Patterson introduced AB 2036 to enhance victim notification of SVP releases.
Last year, community concerns were raised when DSH and their private contractor, Liberty Healthcare, proposed releasing Sexually Violent Predator William Stephenson on transient status. Stephenson, originally convicted in the 1980s for assault and intent to commit rape, was released from custody in 2014 and was subsequently re-arrested for possession of child pornography. DSH has proposed releasing repeat offender Stephenson on transient status which has a high failure rate. A transient release could involve placing the offender into a trailer or hotel.
“This is a huge concern for families and residents in my community,” Assemblyman Joe Patterson said. “The state has an obligation to find a lawful and suitable address for Mr. Stephenson that does not jeopardize the safety of the public.”
Assemblyman Patterson and his office have worked actively to oppose the release, submitting letters and statements to the court and attending hearings. Additionally, he has been working closely with Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire to halt the transient release.
“Transient release for sexually violent predators is a recipe for failure. Liberty Healthcare, the organization tasked with placing SVPs, has even noted that transient releases have a 50% failure rate and is not an ideal option for program participants,” said Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire. “AB 2035 will clarify that transient release is not qualified housing for a sexually violent predator and defines qualified housing in state law. We are grateful to Assemblyman Patterson for his continued commitment and leadership on this issue.”
“Legislators never intended to allow transient releases of SVPs,” Patterson said. “We must be very clear, those classified as SVPs must have suitable housing with constant, appropriate monitoring to ensure they don’t re-victimize and to keep our communities safe.”
Assemblyman Joe Patterson represents the 5th Assembly District, including 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.