San Bernardino Halts Serial Rapist’s Release (For Now)
San Bernardino prosecutors have secured a temporary victory in their quest to stop a convicted San Francisco-area rapist from being released into the Morongo Basin community. Last week, San Francisco’s Superior Court rescinded a previous order for release and instead set the case for trial to determine whether the man remains a sexually violent predator.
Luther Benjamin Evans, 67, was convicted of rape, burglary and assault with intent to commit rape in 1976. Four years later, he raped again. In 1991, he was once more convicted of sexual battery during an attempted rape.
Since 2003, Evans—a diagnosed psychopath—has been a patient at the Coalinga State Mental Hospital. Yet quite inexplicably, a court granted his petition for release in 2015.
Under the sexually violent predator law, Evans was to be placed in San Francisco County, since that is where he committed his crimes. But because no housing could be found for him there, officials looked elsewhere and found a place for him in the County of San Bernardino.
“So far we have extended every resource at our disposal to stop this predator from entering our community,” District Attorney Mike Ramos said. “San Bernardino County will not be used as a dumping ground for sexually violent predators.”
It looks like prosecutors’ hard work has paid off. Once she began taking a look at the case, San Bernardino County prosecutor Maureen O’Connell discovered that a legally required hearing had never been held. “As a result of this discovery, the applicable law provided to the court and our arguments, the San Francisco Superior Court rescinded the outpatient placement order and set the case for trial to determine whether Mr. Evans remained a sexually violent predator, subject to placement at the state hospital,” said O’Connell. That hearing will take place on Jan. 18 in San Francisco Superior Court.