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Over Prosecutors’ Pleas, Judge Orders Release of Man Who Lured, Molested Young Boys in South L.A.

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In this file photo, patients use an outdoor courtyard at Coalinga State Hospital, which houses sexually violent predators. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

In this file photo, patients use an outdoor courtyard at Coalinga State Hospital, which houses sexually violent predators. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Just before George Vasquez was scheduled to get out of prison, Los Angeles County prosecutors made a plea to the court: Don’t let him free — he’s too dangerous to live in public.

While in his early 20s, Vasquez had lured young boys from his South L.A. neighborhood to a spot near an alleyway with the promise of candy. He was convicted of molesting several children, ages 6 to 8, court records show.

Prosecutors argued that Vasquez needed to be confined within the walls of a state hospital, where he could receive mental health treatment for his disorder. So at their request, he was locked up while awaiting a trial to determine whether he met the state’s definition of a sexually violent predator. If so, he’d be hospitalized for a two-year term.

Seventeen years later, a judge on Tuesday ordered Vasquez’s release, saying that repeated delays in bringing the case to trial had violated the 44-year-old’s constitutional rights.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.