The Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office is opposing the effort to place a paroled rapist in Santa Maria.
A press release recently issued by the DA’s Office explained that in 1974 Tibor Karsai, then 22 years old, was convicted in Santa Barbara of forcible rape. He was paroled three years later to San Luis Obispo and lived in Morro Bay. In 1980, Karasi — working as a truck driver — made a trip to Placer County and committed a forcible sex crime there. He was tried and convicted in Placer County, and sentenced to 26 years in state prison.
In 1998, the press release goes on, Karsai completed his prison term, but the Placer County DA’s Office filed a petition to have him remain in custody, classifying him as a sexually violent predator. The petition was granted, and Karsai has remained in custody since, though the Placer DA has had to re-petition the court every two years to keep Karsai off the street.
His most recent trial, however, resulted in a hung jury, and rather than file another petition, the Placer DA agreed to let Karsai, now 58 years old, out of custody through a conditional release program. The program, called CONREP (Forensic Conditional Release Program) and run by Liberty Healthcare, reportedly provides intense supervision of ex-cons. A Placer County judge ordered that Karsai be placed in a Santa Maria home, but the Santa Barbara County DA’s Office has since fought the ruling based on two pieces of law.
The first addresses what county is actually Karsai’s correct “domicile” county, which would determine where he would be placed. Santa Barbara’s DA’s Office argues that San Luis Obispo is Karsai’s correct “domicile” county. The second argument notes that Karsai’s proposed home is within 2,000 feet of an elementary school and community park.
“We have already had a Senior District Attorney travel to Placer County court three times to object to the placement,” reads the Santa Barbara DA’s Office press release, “and we will do so again on December 5, 2011.”