A sexually violent predator will not be placed in San Bernardino County after a monthslong fight waged by the District Attorney’s Office, authorities announced Thursday.
For the past six months, prosecutors with the DA’s office’s Sexually Violent Predator and Appellate Services had been fighting efforts to have 67-year-old Luther B. Evans, a convicted rapist, placed in the county.
Evans had been committed as a sexually violent predator by the San Francisco Superior Court in October 2003.
He was convicted in 1976 of residential burglary, rape and assault to commit rape, and of another rape in 1980. Eleven years later, he attempted to rape someone and committed sexual battery in the process, according to a news release from the San Bernardino County DA’s office.
Evans was classified as a “wanton” and lawless” psychopath in court records, the release stated.
In August 2015, he petitioned for conditional release; the court granted it three months later, and Evans was nominally released to outpatient treatment, prosecutors said.
The law required Evans be placed where he committed his crimes — in San Francisco County — barring extraordinary circumstances.
Six months later, however, Liberty Health Care — the organization responsible for overseeing his placement — informed a San Francisco court that it was unable to find a suitable location for Evans in the Bay Area’s nine counties, nor could it successfully find another place when the search was expanded east of Santa Clara County and north of the state line, according to the release.
On May 18, Liberty Health Care and other involved parties appeared in court and proposed Evans sent instead to San Bernardino County.
“Upon receiving notice of the proposed placement, members of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office SVP and Appellate Services Units filed multiple opposition briefs and appeared on behalf of the citizens of San Bernardino County in San Francisco Superior Court to successfully halt the release at this time,” the release said.
While going through the process, a San Bernardino County prosecutor learned that there had never been a hearing where Evans received a civil commitment to the State Mental Hospital as a sexually violent predator, which must happen before any outpatient release and supervision, according to the DA’s office.
The outpatient placement order was rescinded as a result of the discovery, and a hearing has been scheduled for January 18. It will take place in San Francisco Superior Court, according to the release.
“So far we have extended every resource at our disposal to stop this predator from entering our community,” DA Mike Ramos said. “San Bernardino County will not be used as a dumping ground for sexually violent predators.”
The proposed areas of placement in the Evans case included Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley and Morongo, as well as the Morongo Basin.
“While California law permits a court to place an SVP in a remote location that has no connection to that individual, it was important for our office to ensure our citizens had a voice before the San Francisco court,” said Supervising Deputy DA Robert Brown. “When the safety of the community could be placed at risk, we felt it was important to do all that we could to argue against the placement.”