Convicted sex offender Cary Jay Smith has moved to Lake Elsinore, authorities said late Saturday night, after Smith faced police surveillance in two other cities following his release from a mental hospital after nearly 20 years.
He was released from Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County after the facility failed to renew a 5300 hold on him, which expired on July 11, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The DA’s office issued a public warning on July 14 about his release.
Smith has been held in the custody of state medical facilities in accordance with a section of California’s Welfare and Institutions Code for nearly two decades.
He was first sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino in 1999 after his wife gave a psychiatrist a letter in which he describes ways he wanted to sexually abuse a 7-year-old boy from his Costa Mesa neighborhood, prosecutors said.
Smith has claimed to have killed three boys and molested 200, and he prefers to go by Mr. RTK, which stands for “rape, torture, kill,” according to prosecutors.
In 2002, prosecutors filed 20 felony counts of lewd and lascivious act with a minor against him. But they had to drop the charges since the statute of limitations had passed, the DA’s office said.
Despite a conviction for a 1985 misdemeanor sex crime involving a child, Smith is no longer required to register as a sex offender. The DA’s office said that registration requirement was removed in 2005 although it remains unclear why.
DA Todd Spitzer and other public officials have called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to reinstate Smith’s listing as a sex offender.
Since his release this month, Smith has moved from an adult living facility in Orange to the city of Corona on Saturday, according to police from both cities. By late Saturday, police in Corona said Smith had left that city as well. Both police agencies had issued public statements about monitoring Smith despite no known court order or other legal requirement to do so.
Later Saturday, at 11:30 p.m., the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station announced Smith moved there, and local authorities were monitoring him.
“Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department are currently watching Smith while he is staying at a local hotel to ensure the safety of our community,” the agency said in a Facebook post, noting he is not on supervised release. “Smith is allowed to move around without restrictions.”
Over the years, since Smith first entered treatment in 1999, psychologists have repeatedly testified he poses an imminent danger to the public, and prosecutors have argued for his confinement, according to the DA’s office.
State law allows for Smith to receive a new civil trial every six months to prove he is not a danger to society and eligible for release.
According to prosecutors, he has repeatedly testified during those hearings that he fantasizes about raping and then killing young boys to avoid being identified. The trials have determined he presents a “demonstrated danger of inflicting substantial physical harm,” the DA’s office said.