A judge in San Jose ruled Friday that a convict known as the “Pillowcase Rapist” could be released to a home in the unincorporated area east of Palmdale.
Christopher Hubbart — who raped and assaulted more than 26 women in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties in 1972, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office — had been set to appear before a judge regarding his proposed conditional release.
After Hubbart, 63, petitioned for release last year, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown ruled in May that the convict was fit for release.
Hubbart’s “domicile” was found to be Los Angeles County, and the judge ruled he should be relocated there from Coalinga State Hospital.
Brown’s tentative plan, announced in October, was to have Hubbart moved to a home in unincorporated community of Lake Los Angeles, near Palmdale.
Hubbart’s proposed new housing location was discussed at Friday’s hearing in the Hall of Justice in San Jose, where a judge decided that the serial rapist could be moved to a home in the 20300 block of East Avenue R, according to Los Angeles County DA’s office.
The address is on a dirt road in a sparsely populated area about 20 miles east of central Palmdale in the unincorporated Antelope Valley. It’s about 7 miles from the Lake Los Angeles home where Hubbart was initially set to be sent.
Hubbart was expected to be subject to 24-hour surveillance for the first month after his release, according to Tony Bell, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who represents the area.
No release date has been scheduled for Hubbart, the DA’s office stated in a news release on the judge’s decision.
The Friday decision from Brown opens up a 45-day period for public comment that the judge will consider at the next court hearing, according to Bell.
Brown plans a public hearing on Hubbart’s proposed home in San Jose on May 21, according to the DA’s office, which was collecting written public comments.
“If Hubbart is housed in Los Angeles County, my office will work with law enforcement to make sure that he is closely monitored at all times and that all terms and conditions of his release are strictly enforced,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in the release.
Hubbart was born in Pasadena and raised there and in Claremont, according to a timeline provided last fall by Antonovich’s office.
In court, Hubbart testified that he began breaking into homes to watch women when he was a teenager, court records show.
He moved on to more violent assaults in 1972, when he was 21.
“He would drive around in the early morning and look for homes that had garage doors open, indicating the man of the house had gone to work. He would also look for children’s toys, believing that mothers would be protective of their children and more likely to cooperate with him. He would bind the women’s hands and cover their faces, then sexually assault them,” states a 2001 state appellate court decision affirming a trial court ruling that Hubbart was a “sexually violent predator” under state law.
For the 1972 crimes, Hubbart was sentenced and spent about 6 1/2 years at Atascadero State Hospital. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area upon his release in 1979, according to the appellate ruling.
Hubbart then proceeded to sexually assault a series of women in the Bay Area, and was sentenced in 1982 to 16 years in prison, but was released on parole in 1990, the ruling states.
Again, he reoffended and was returned to prison in 1990, just months after his release. For a brief time in 1993, Hubbart was paroled to Claremont, according to the DA’s office.
He has been in state custody since 1996, the DA’s office stated.
Because his last conviction was in Santa Clara County, a judge there has jurisdiction over his 2013 petition for release from a state mental hospital.
Lacey has fought unsuccessfully to have Hubbart released in Santa Clara County instead of L.A. County, where the DA’s office has said the serial rapist no longer has any family.
On Thursday, Lacey called on state lawmakers to support proposed legislation that would allow “counties where sexually violent predators may be housed the opportunity to actively participate in conditional release hearings,” according to a news release.
The Los Angeles DA’s office was not notified of an initial hearing at which Hubbart’s release was granted by Brown, according to the timeline from Antonovich’s office.
On Thursday, Antonovich stated on Twitter that Hubbart “should never be released.”
“It’s outrageous that an admitted sexual predator with a long history of brutal crimes against women be released in this community – or any community,” Antonovich said in a statement Friday.” He belongs in an institution where he cannot prey upon the public.”
Public comments on Hubbart’s proposed residence may be submitted to Brown through May 16 via HubbartLASafetyTaskForce@da.lacounty.gov or by writing to:
Hubbart L.A. Safety Task Force
c/o Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
Sex Crimes Division
320 West Temple Street, Room 777
Los Angeles, CA 90012