Neighbors in Menifee are fighting back over the possible placement of a sexually violent predator in their quiet senior community.
A judge has ordered the conditional release of 68-year-old Lawrence Phillip Moff into the Sun City senior living community.
Moff has been incarcerated over the last decade at Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County. The conditional release comes following the recommendation of a hospital physician.
The convicted sex offender has a long criminal history dating back to the 1970s.
He was accused in 1978 of befriending two parents at a Los Angeles County church before eventually molesting their two young sons multiple times.
In January 1997, Moff was convicted of more sex crimes in Riverside County. The circumstances were eerily similar: Moff befriended a couple at church before molesting their young son, this time a 9-year-old boy.
Brian Holley, Sun City Civic Association Board of Directors President, said the senior living facility where Moff is slated to end up currently houses Stage 2 Alzheimer’s patients.
Holley says the facility is not an appropriate place for someone like Moff.
“We’re sick and tired of the state and everyone else using 55-plus communities as a dumping ground,” Holley said.
Neighbors near the community have their own concerns, particularly involving their children and grandchildren being in proximity of a convicted child molester.
“I don’t feel like somebody like that should be moving into this neighborhood because I have grandchildren that come every now and then to visit my home,” said Jesus Cortez who lives nearby.
Ed Ogden is another neighbor who is concerned about Moff moving in.
“Our grandson is here frequently and so we are concerned, and there’s other grandchildren across the street,” Ogden told KTLA.
Norma Zermeno, Sun City Civic Association General Manager, said she worries that Moff is still capable of being violent.
“If we’re getting this notification now that there is a big concern then obviously there’s a reason behind it that this person could offend again,” Zermeno said.