Less than a dozen people came to San Jose protest the impending release of a man dubbed the "Pillowcase Rapist" who terrorized much of California in the 1970s and 1980s and who was ordered to be sent to a run-down home in a sparsely populated area in northern Los Angeles County.
About four women from the "Ladies of the Lake LA," state Assemblyman Steven Fox (D-Palmdale), and a handful of others came to persuade Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown not to allow Christopher Hubbart, to be sent to a home in Antelope Valley upon his release from the Coalinga State Hospital.
Hubbart has completed his treatment at the hospital, after finishing his prison sentence in 1996.
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"Do not release him because he will re-offend again," said Cheryl Holbrook, one of the Ladies of Lake LA, a community group created to fight Hubbart's release to her community in Palmdale. She lives about five miles away from Hubbart's proposed home and was raped herself by two men when she was 14. "He's going to be dangerous to any community, anywhere, including ours."
The hearing adjourned Wednesday afternoon without the judge announcing a decision or when a decision would be made.
Hubbart earned his nickname because he muffled the women's screams with pillowcases. The 63-year-old has admitted to raping 38 women in California between 1971 and 1982 -- about two dozen of which occurred in Los Angeles County. He was released to the Bay Area in 1979, where he raped 15 more women, including in San Francisco and Sunnyvale, which is why the hearing was being held in Santa Clara County.
Santa Clara County Superior Court spokesman Joe Macaluso said Wednesday that the hearing is normally held for public agencies to provide input to the judge on Hubbart's release to a home in the 20000 block of East Avenue R in Palmdale.
But Macaluso said the judge invited regular citizens to the hearing, realizing the political, controversial nature of Hubbart's release. Brown already tentatively approved this address in April.
A map of the area shows there are very few homes in the area set among the San Gabriel mountains. Palmdale is at the northern edge of Los Angeles County. Under "Jessica's Law," sex offenders must live within 2,000 feet from parks and schools - and this home fits those requirements.
Hubbart is being sent there because he lived in Los Angeles County 40 years ago, and the current state law, which Fox is trying to change, states that a judge can send a sexually violent predator back to his "alleged county of domicile."
Fox's bill would require such a county, in this case, Los Angeles, an opportunity to be heard in court before a judge could decide where the convict gets to live.
Home at 20000 block of East Avenue R in Palmdale, where judge wants to send "Pillowcase Rapist," Christopher Hubbart.
While the court hearing Wednesday did not garner that many speakers, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office has collected more than 4,000 letters, emails and cards opposing Hubbart's release in Los Angeles County and submitted those to the judge.
The local community in the Antelope Valley has also generated about 8,000 letters.
Shack at 20000 block of East Avenue R in Palmdale, where judge wants to send "Pillowcase Rapist," Christopher Hubbart.
Regardless of where he is released, Hubbart will be required to wear a GPS ankle bracelet, continue treatment, obey a curfew and be subject to random searches and seizures, drug testing and polygraphs.
That didn't sit well with Debra Hill, another "Ladies of the Lake LA," who said outside court on Wednesday that GPS bracelets are not foolproof. "They don't work," she said.
NBC Los Angeles' Andrew Lopez and Jonathan Lloyd and Tami Abdollah from the Associated Press contributed to this report.