Full Coverage

 Sexually violent predator to stay under 24/7 supervision
Story Photo

3 months ago

Sexually violent predator to stay under 24/7 supervision

A judge Wednesday ordered Tibor Karsai to remain under 24-hour supervision with a guard for another year.

Karsai, 62, is a sexually violent predator living in northern Santa Barbara County.

He was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975 then was sent back to prison years later for another sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

He left Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County in April of last year as a transient after 30 years in custody. His release included having around-the-clock supervision.

Karsai lives in a motor home, wears a GPS monitor, and has to check in once a month with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley says the case will be reviewed on an annual basis to determine if Karsai should remain under 24/7 supervision.

Wednesday's hearing took place in Roseville.

Story Photo

4 months ago

Continued supervision expected for sexually violent predator, officials say

A judge will decide at the end of the month if a sexually violent predator living in northern Santa Barbara County will continue to be supervised by guards or be released on his own. Tibor Karsai, 61, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975, then was sent back to prison years later for another sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl. He left Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County in April of last year as a transient after 30 years in custody. Right now, he lives in a motor home, wears a GPS monitor and has around-the-clock guards. His hearing is scheduled for April 30 in Roseville. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office says it is likely Karsai will remain supervised by guards.  
Story Photo

4 months ago

Judge to decide future of sexually violent predator's supervision

A judge will decide this month if a sexually violent predator living in Santa Barbara County will continue to be supervised by guards or be released on his own.

Tibor Karsai, 61, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975, then was sent back to prison years later for another sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

He left Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County in April of last year as a transient after 30 years in custody.

Right now, he lives in a motor home, wears a GPS monitor and has around the clock guards.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley says a judge will decide year by year on how much supervision Karsai needs.

The decision is based on his treatment, if he has followed all of the guidelines set by the court, and if the judge does not consider him a risk. "As long as he is on our county, I believe he should be watched 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Dudley.

Before Karsai was released into Santa Barbara County last year, Dudley fought hard to keep him out because of the threat she said he posed to the community.

"I've prosecuted men in their 80s for first time sex offenses and they were certainly a threat. They were child molesters and I was deeply concerned about the fact that they could molest again," she said.

So in order to protect people in the county, Karsai must live in a motor home, which is parked in several different locations in remote parts of the county.

He has guards with him at all times and must check in with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office once a month.

Karsai must also abide by a 9:00 p.m curfew. "I don't believe that keeping him in Santa Barbara keeps Santa Barbara safe and I think the costs that are involved in keeping him in the transient situation that he is in are prohibitive," said Dudley.

According to the Department of State Hospitals, Karsai is one of ten sexually violent predators in California that is supervised by Liberty Healthcare.

It costs the state about $320,000 to supervise the 10 sexually violent predators that are under the care of Liberty Healthcare.

Dudley says Karsai is the worst of the worst and should never be left alone.

"Based on his prior behavior, I still consider him to be a threat on this county and any other county he was residing in," said Dudley.

KSBY reached out to Karsai, but he declined to go on camera.

April 15 will be one year since his release and county officials say a hearing will be held sometime this month.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Who pays to monitor sexually violent predators?

Sexually violent predator Tibor Karsai was released as a transient last month in Santa Barbara County and there are questions about who is picking up the tab as he transitions back into the community.

Karsai served five years in prison for raping a 19-year old girl in 1975. He was paroled in 1980 and convicted later that year for raping a 16-year old girl.

Since Karsai was released from a state hospital, he now lives in a motorhome in northern Santa Barbara County.

After checking with the state, we found out Karsai's motorhome, his around the clock security guards and GPS monitor are all paid for by taxpayers.

The Department of State Hospitals' contract with Liberty Healthcare is $3.2 million a year to supervise and treat patients like Karsai released as transients.

Karsai is one of ten sexually violent predators in California currently monitored by Liberty Healthcare.

That averages $320,000 a year the public pays to supervise and house them.

Karsai is a conditionally released sexually violent predator. That means if he breaks the law or any rules of his treatment plan he will immediately be returned to custody.

With the exception of his housing, Karsai has to be self-supportive. That means he must pay for food, clothing and other personal expenses.

If sexually violent predators aren't able to support themselves, the state offers funds as a loan, but they must be repaid.

The Coalinga State Hospital had to release Karsai last month under a Placer County judge's order.

The cost to keep a sexually violent predator in custody at that state mental hospital is about $206,450 a year.

We don't know how long Karsai will be under this treatment plan. It could be up to a year.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Exclusive: Tibor Karsai wants news media to leave him alone

Two weeks after being released to Santa Barbara County as a sexually violent predator, Tibor Karsai lives in a motor home at several different locations and says he wants the news media to leave him alone.

Sixty-year-old Karsai told KSBY he has decided not to do any interviews with reporters in the near future.

In a brief visit Wednesday afternoon at his motor home parked on Highway 1 near Guadalupe, Karsai told reporter Caroline Lowe he hopes the community will, "Leave us alone. Allow me the opportunity to get back into society the best I can. Let me go back to pick up the pieces of my life."

Several days ago, Karsai told KSBY he planned to make a public statement about his case and the impact it has had on his family, but after consulting with his relatives and others, Karsai told KSBY on Wednesday he decided not to speak publicly.

Karsai has two security guards from Liberty Healthcare assigned to him around the clock. He also wears a GPS monitor and must check in with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office once a month.

He lives in a motor home which is parked in several different locations in remote parts of northern Santa Barbara County. Karsai must abide by a 9 p.m. curfew.

He was released from Coalinga State Hospital as a transient on April 15.

Karsai served five years in prison for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975 and then went back to prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

His release from prison was delayed more than twenty months by legal challenges from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

The district attorney was opposed to Karsai moving to Santa Barbara County.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Who's watching Tibor Karsai?

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is monitoring 60-year-old Tibor Karsai around the clock.

The sexually violent predator was released two weeks ago as a transient.

He was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975, then was sent back to prison years later for another sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

Karsai left Coalinga State Prison as a transient after 30 years and several resources have been put in place to watch him.

He has two guards and a GPS monitor on his ankle and he has several other conditions he must follow.

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin says Karsai's every move is being watched, not only by police, but by the community.

"It's like a little neighborhood watch right here in our own community," said Principal Karen Porter, Isaac Miller Elementary School.

Principal Porter says, after getting word of Karsai's release, the community around her school became a watchdog.

"We have our wonderful neighbors across the street that let us know if there is any danger or anyone that doesn't look familiar," said Porter.

Karsai is in the one-percent of sex offenders that are considered the worst of the worst, so along with the Miller School community, the city will also be watching.

"The high risk such as Tibor Karsai is somebody that has a proven track record and so we will take it very seriously," said Chief Martin.

Chief Martin says Karsai lives in a motorhome.

He's allowed to visit Santa Maria where his mother lives, but must leave town by his curfew.

"He has to be in pre-designated parking areas at 9 pm at night until 6 am. If for any reason he moves, the vehicle moves, then his GPS system goes off," said Martin.

Karsai is supervised 24 hours a day, and there are boundaries he can't cross, including schools.

"He can't just leave and go to the mall or take a stroll down the street," said Chief Martin.

Principal Porter hopes these restrictions will help keep her school safe.

One of the guards drives the motorhome for Karsai because he isn't eligible to apply for a license for a year.

He is the only sex offender on the Central Coast who is in the category of sexually violent predator.

Chief Martin says if Karsai breaks any of his conditions, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office will be alerted.

1 year ago

Sexually violent predator released into Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office announced Monday that Tibor Karsai was released from Coalinga State Hospital and will register with the Sheriff's Office as a "Transient" Sex Offender.

The Sheriff's Office said Karsai will be living in a motor home in remote locations of northern Santa Barbara County. He will wear a GPS device and will be monitored by Liberty Healthcare, a contractor of the State of California Dept. of Mental Health.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office filed several legal challenges to try to stop Karsai's release into the community, but in March, the State Supreme Court determined he would be released as a transient into the county.

Karsai was convicted of sexually assaulting a young woman in 1975. In 1980, he was convicted of assaulting a 16-year old girl.

1 year ago

Karsai released by April 18, won't have a permanent address

A sexually violent predator is set to be released into Santa Barbara County within the next 10 days as a transient.

Tibor Karsai was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Northern California and served 30 years in prison.

He is currently in a mental hospital in Placer County.

As a transient, he won't have a permanent home.

Karsai will be listed on Megan's Law, which is a list of sexual predators in California, but because he is a transient, there won't be a permanent address next to his name, which will make it more difficult for the public to know where he is living. Unlike many other states, California doesn't have multiple sex offender categories. Instead, the amount of information that is given about them on Megan's Law is based on their conviction.

Just by doing a quick search on your computer you can find out how many registered sex offenders are in your community and neighborhood.

In Santa Maria alone, there are more than 150 registered sex offenders and 123 of them list exact addresses.

"They do determine that only the most significant ones will be on the website," said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

Dudley says Tibor Karsai will be on that list, but as a transient with no permanent address.

"Releasing him in that population without the supervision, the communities' needs and his needs increases the risk factor of him reoffending," said Dudley.

Karsai is in the one percent of sex offenders in California that are considered the worst of the worst, but he will be released as a transient and the community won't know where he's living.

"They should never release sexually violent predators as transients," said Dudley.

Liberty Healthcare Services will be supervising Karsai and he is required to register with local law enforcement every 30 days, but Dudley says it's not enough.

"They need to be closely watched, they need supervision, they need a home and a place law enforcement can go to find them," said Dudley.

Karsai is only the second sexually violent predator to be released as a transient in California and District Attorney Dudley plans to change that law.

"Even if he isn't deemed to be a risk now, having him homeless will put him in a position that will increase his risk factor and I think the whole community is certainly vulnerable," said Dudley.

Karsai is set to be released by April 18th.

District Attorney Dudley says local law enforcement will get information on his whereabouts and it will be up to them to notify the community.

Liberty Medical Services will be watching over Karsai and he will receive treatment and supervision by staff, specialized sex offender treatment, weekly drug screenings, surveillance and a GPS device.

Story Photo

1 year ago

Sexually violent predator to be released into Santa Barbara County

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office released a statement today saying the California Supreme Court denied their second Petition for Review, therefore allowing the release of Tibor Karsai, 59, into Santa Barbara County as a "transient."

A press release states: "The District Attorney's Office has now done everything it could to prevent Karsai's release." The release continued by saying the goal all along has been to protect the Santa Barbara community and try to prevent Karsai from re-offending.

Karsai is expected to be released in approximately two weeks. Liberty Healthcare Corporation, a contractor designated by the California Department of Mental Health's Conditional Release Program, will be responsible for monitoring Karsai.

Karsai was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in northern California in 1980. He served 30 years in prison, and is currently in a mental hospital in Placer County.

The Santa Barbara Co. D.A.'s Office says they appealed the order to the 3rd District Court of Appeals once, and twice to the California Supreme Court.

"Do not release him as a transient," said Joyce Dudley, Santa Barbara County District Attorney. "Release him to a place where he can get services in a home anywhere in California, including Santa Barbara County. We weren't saying he shouldn't be released in Santa Barbara County, we were saying he needs to be released where he can get the services he needs in order not to reoffend."

Story Photo

1 year ago

Santa Barbara County District Attorney explains meaning of "Sexually Violent Predators"

Santa Barbara County District Attorney, Joyce Dudley, wrote the following op-ed concerning sex offenders:

"In recent months there have been several references in the media to the term "Sexually Violent Predator" (SVP) and the fact that my office has sought to stop someone who has been found to be an SVP from being placed in our county as a transient.

Many community members have asked me about the designation, SVP, and how they are different from "Sex Offenders." The short answer is: SVPs are the worst of the worst sex offenders. Less than 1% of registered sex offenders living in CA communities have been found to be SVPs.

All SVPs have been convicted of a sexually violent offense, usually multiple offenses, often rape or child molestation, and all have been sentenced to prison. While in prison the Department of Corrections makes a preliminary assessment as to which of these prisoners, by virtue of a mental disorder, would be deemed unsafe for release back into the community. Mental health experts are then appointed and full background investigations and assessments are conducted. Assuming the prisoner has a serious enough conviction these experts then look for a mental disorder, often Paraphilia (which sometimes means a compulsion to commit sexual offenses) or Pedophilia (a sexual interest in children).

Should the experts find a mental disorder and further find that the disorder renders the prisoner unsafe for release to the community, they then ask the District Attorney to file a petition with the court requesting a trial to decide whether the prisoner is a "Sexually Violent Predator." If the judge or jury decide the prisoner is an SVP, then and only then is he (there are very few women SVPs) given that designation which is reviewed by the court or jury every two years unless the SVP stipulates to another two-year incarceration.

As a result of being given that designation, the prisoner's future is changed; instead of being released from prison after he has "served his time" he is committed to Coalinga State Hospital, a secured facility in central California reserved largely for sex offenders. There treatment is available for him, although many patients decline treatment.

Treatment can take years. It has five phases aimed at recognizing and controlling high-risk behaviors through cognitive behavioral theory. Some patients have been in treatment for ten years or more without reaching stage five; some have been released.

Often when released, they go into outpatient care where they live in controlled settings and continue to receive treatment. There they are monitored closely and often are required to wear GPS devices that record their movement. Sometimes they are simply being released. A number of them end up homeless. It is my belief that being released as a transient (homeless) is inconsistent with the public safety concerns of everyone.

Law enforcement need to know where the SVPs live and how they live to assure their compliance with the law and to assure public safety. The SVP needs stability, supervision, and treatment to reduce the possibility of committing another offense.

If at some point the medical professionals conclude a patient no longer meets the requirement for an SVP commitment, and the court agrees, he then goes back into the community, subject only to the requirement that he register annually with law enforcement.

This annual registration is consistent with what is required of a "Sex Offender." A "Sex Offender" is someone who is convicted of any sex offense, including some misdemeanor sex offenses in which the only punishment administered is a short term on probation.

Most of us would prefer not to engage in a conversation about sex offenders. Their crimes are often loathsome but it is only through educating ourselves that we are in the best position to protect our most vulnerable victims."

Story Photo

1 year ago

DA takes fight over release of Tibor Karsai to California high court

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Friday her office has petitioned the California Supreme Court in the latest attempt to block the release of a sexually-violent predator into the county.

The district attorney's office is petitioning the state's high court to overturn the recent appellate court ruling stating that convicted rapist Tibor Karsai should be released as a transient in Santa Barbara County. Dudley is also requesting that Karsai stay in custody until the Supreme Court has made its decision.

1 year ago

District attorney taking Tibor Karsai petition to California Supreme Court after denial

A Sacramento court of appeal on Thursday denied Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley's petition to prevent the release of a sexually-violent predator into the county.

According to Dudley, the Court of Appeal for the Third District denied the Writ of Mandate, concluding in its 21-page opinion that "There is nothing in the SVPA (Sexually Violent Predator Act) that precludes a court from ordering the conditional release of a person committed as an SVP (Sexually Violent Predator) even though no fixed residence has been located for the person before his release."

Dudley said in a news release that her office will now file a second petition for review to the California Supreme Court in a final attempt to keep convicted rapist Tibor Karsai from being released as a transient into Santa Barbara County. Dudley will also once again file a stay in an attempt to stop Karsai's release while the issue is pending before the state Supreme Court.

2 years ago

Santa Barbara Co. DA appeals Karsai case to the California Supreme Court

A District Court of Appeal in Sacramento has denied the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's request to keep a sexually violent predator out of the county as a transient.

Earlier this month, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley challenged a Placer County judge's decision to release Tibor Karsai as a transient into the county. After hearing the decision Thursday by the 3rd District Court of Appeal, Dudley sent an appeal directly to the California Supreme Court in an effort to keep Karsai from being released as a transient. Dudley said if she hadn't taken the case to the Supreme Court, Karsai could be released as early as Monday.

Dudley is asking the Supreme Court overrule the Court of Appeal decision and order Karsai not to be released until a "suitable residence is located".

Karsai is convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Placer County in 1980. He served 30 years in prison and is currently in a mental hospital in Placer County.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Sexually violent predator will not be released in Santa Barbara Co.

The Court of Appeal in Sacramento has granted a request by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney to stay the pending release of a sexually violent predator into the county.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Wednesday that on March 27, a Superior Court judge in Placer County made the decision to release Tibor Karsai into Santa Barbara County as a transient on April 16. Dudley challenged the decision with the Third District Court of Appeal. Dudley argued it is necessary to keep Karsai out of Santa Barbara County to protect the residents. On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal granted the stay, which means Karsai will not be released on April 16.

Karsai was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in Northern California in 1980. He served 30 years in prison, and is now in a mental hospital in Placer County.

Karsai was also once on the potential housing list for San Luis Obispo County because he once lived in Morro Bay. He was taken off the list in March, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.

Back in December, a Placer County judge ruled Karsai would be conditionally released into Santa Maria to live with family members, but a judge ruled against it. The Court of Appeal will now consider the merits of the case, before it makes a final decision about when and where Karsai will ultimately be released.

Story Photo

2 years ago

SLO County taken off potential placement list for sexually violent predator

A sexually violent predator named Tibor Karsai will not be moving to San Luis Obispo County, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office.

A Placer County Superior Court Judge notified the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office Friday that San Luis Obispo County has been removed as an option for placement of Karsai.

Karsai, 59, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in northern California in 1980. He served 30 years in prison, and is currently in a mental hospital in Placer County. San Luis Obispo County was on the list for potential housing for Karsai, because he once lived in Morro Bay.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson objected the potential placement of Karsai in a mobile home at the Sheriff's Office main facility, or anywhere else in the county. Sheriff Parkinson said the mobile home site was located too close to the Juvenile Services Center.

The Placer County judge is continuing to review other placement options for Karsai.

Story Photo

2 years ago

Sexually violent predator could be paroled to SLO County

A sexually violent predator could be calling San Luis Obispo County home.

Tibor Karsai, 58, was convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl back in 1980. He's been in prison and a mental hospital in Placer County where the crime was committed, but now that he's served his time, he is going to be let out.

A Placer County judge first ruled he would live with his mother in Santa Maria. But after loud protest from locals, the city passed emergency action late last year to prevent the move.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department tells us it has been notified that the county is on the list for potential housing for him because Karsai once lived in Morro Bay, however no final decision has been made.

Tonight on KSBY News at 6p, Ariel Wesler shows us where Karsai could live if he was allowed to move here.

2 years ago

Sexually violent predator will not reside in Santa Maria

A Placer County judge has ordered Liberty Healthcare to find someplace other than Santa Barbara County to house a sexually violent predator.

58-year-old Tibor Karsai was convicted of rape and false imprisonment and served 26 years in prison. He also spent time in a mental hospital. Both the city attorney and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney have been fighting a judge's decision to allow the sexually violent predator to relocate in Santa Maria.

Representatives from both offices were at Monday's hearing in Placer County to push for an alternate location for Karsai.

The judge said the original plan to have him live with his family in Santa Maria is no longer an option. There was a dispute last month about how to interpret Jessica's law, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2000 feet from a park or school.

The judge measured it as "travel distance" while the city measured it "as the crow flies."

So, to clear up any confusion, the city passed an emergency ordinance clarifying the new law, hoping it would force the judge to change his decision.

"It's significant in the sense that the court is now extending the search. That means he can be placed in any county in California," said Santa Barbara County Chief Deputy District Attorney Stephen Foley.

While the judge did go as far as saying Karsai will not end up in Santa Barbara County, the DA's office says Liberty Healthcare, the company in charge of monitoring him, had exhausted all possibilities in the county.

The DA's office says the judge also issued a gag order today preventing any public comments about where Karsai could end up living.

2 years ago

City leaders pass local law to try and keep out sexually violent predator

Leaders in Santa Maria have passed a local law, taking emergency action as they try to stop a sexually-violent predator from moving into their city.

Both the city attorney and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney are fighting a Placer County judge's decision to allow 58-year-old Tibor Karsai to live in Santa Maria.

Karsai was sentenced to 26 years in prison for rape and false imprisonment in 1980 in Placer County.

He has been in state prisons and a mental hospital since 1980, but is supposed to get out of a mental hospital in Coalinga in December and be allowed to move back with family in Santa Maria.

"Fear will kill somebody."

With tears in her eyes Cassandra Sigala pleaded with city leaders to do all they can to keep 58-year-old Tibor Karsai, a sexually violent predator, out of Santa Maria.

"I will do whatever it takes to not let that violent person come to this town. Whatever it takes, I will do it. I just know what it's like," Sigala said.

Cassandra says she was molested by her uncle as a young child and he's being released from custody on Monday. Cassandra's mom says her daughter wasn't the only victim.

"He's violated three children in our family in the course of over 20 years," said Sandra Sigala.

The new city law means no new sex offenders in Santa Maria could live within a 2000 foot radius of a park or school. In this case, it's Liberty Elementary.

"This would adversely affect the safety of children and the perceived safety of children," said Liberty Elementary School Principal Dr. Jamie LeBlanc.

The local law takes effect immediately, but it's only the first stp in putting pressure on the Placer County judge to change his decision.

"There are already discussions about a letter writing campaign, petitions, sending out mass emails to the judge, whatever it is we can do," said Terri Zuniga, who lives in Santa Maria.

"This is our community. This is my community and I do not want this person coming to my community," Sandra Sigala said.

According to city attorney Gil Trujillo, the judge believes Karsai no longer poses a threat. A tough thing for Cassandra and her family to believe.

"Just knowing someone that dangerous lives here, we're gonna be in fear," she said.


City leaders talked about possibly going further with the 2000 foot rule, having it apply to daycare and community centers. Councilmembers urge you to call city hall for the address of where you can send petition letters.

Both city and county officials plan to travel to Placer County in person to plead their case. The judge is expected to make his final decision on December 5th.

Story Photo

2 years ago

City Leaders move one step closer to keeping sexually violent predator away

Santa Maria City Leaders are one step closer to keeping a sexually violent predator out of their city.

Council voted Tuesday night unanimously to clarify Jessica's Law in the city. Under the law, a sex offender cannot live within two thousand feet of a park or school. A judge interpreted that law as travel distance, but the city council said that's "irrational and contrary to law". City leaders agreed it should be as the crow flies.

On Tuesday night, the Santa Maria City Council voted to clarify the law in city code, making it a 2,000 foot straight line.

The timing of this is due to a 58-year-old sexually violent predator who may live in Santa Maria starting next month. Both the city attorney and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney are fighting the decision to allow Tibor Karsai, 58, into the city. Karsai has been in state prisons and a mental hospital since 1980.

If Karsai is released into the city, police say those living in the immediate area will be notified and officers will hold a community meeting. The city is also against Karsai moving to Santa Maria, because before he committed the crime in Placer County, he lived in Morro Bay. City leaders argue he should be returned to San Luis Obispo County.

The judge is expected to make his final decision on December 5.

2 years ago

City council discusses sexually violent predator

A sexually violent predator could be released next month to live in the Santa Maria community. Both the City Attorney and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney are fighting that decision to allow 58-year-old Tibor Karsai to live in Santa Maria. He has been in state prisons and a mental hospital since 1980.

The Santa Maria City Council will consider an emergency resolution Tuesday night to keep Karsai out of town. KSBY News Reporter Ariel Wesler will have a live report outside city hall where the meeting is taking place. Watch the full story on KSBY News at 5 and 6 p.m.

2 years ago

Sexually violent predator could be released in Santa Maria

A sexually violent predator could be released next month into the Santa Maria community. Both the city attorney and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney are fighting the decision of a superior court judge in placer county. That's northeast of Sacramento.

58-year-old Tibor Karsai was sentenced to 26 years in prison for rape and false imprisonment back in 1980.

Officers would not release an exact location, but we know if Karsai was released into the city, it would be in an area near Liberty Elementary School. That's also in the same area where his family lives, but they declined to comment.

"There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood. They catch the bus right around the corner," said Toni Honn, who lives in Santa Maria.

Neighbors living in the Pacific Crest Community don't want a sexually violent predator living anywhere near them. Honn didn't hold back about how she would handle a dangerous situation.

"As far as defending myself, I don't think I would have an issue and I would not hesitate to shoot him," Honn said.

Neighbors say detective were in the area within the past few months trying to learn more about the demographics of the neighborhood.

"There's a daycare here right next to me. I'm a stay at home mom. My neighbor is a stay at home mom," said Amber Dworacek.

Jessica's Law prohibits any sex offender from being released within 2000 feet of a park or a school, but what's being disputed here is how you measure that 2000 feet.

It's easy to explain using Google Maps. The Placer County Judge interprets the rule as travel distance, but the city sees it as a 2000 foot radius, a straight line from one property to another, which would put Tibor Karsai within the 2000 foot restriction.

"We believe that the intent of Jessica's Law was to create a predator free zone with a 2000 foot boundary around each school and park," said Santa Maria City Attorney Gil Trujillo.

Now, the city council is working quickly to pass an emergency resolution to clarify the law.

"The judge will have to consider Santa Maria's municipal code in reach his final determination," Trujillo said.

The city says Liberty Healthcare would be in charge of Karsai's intense 24-7 supervision.

In the meantime, Santa Maria Police Chief Dan Macagni told us "Everyone needs to calm down and let the legal system prevail. We cannot allow vigilante justice."

If Karsai is released into the city, police say those living in the immediate area will be notified and officers will hold a community meeting.

The judge has scheduled another hearing for December 5th. That's when he's expected to make his final decision. If you'd like to track any sex offenders living in your area, click here.

  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail
  • Story Thumbnail

»Comments

PLEASE HELP US MODERATE COMMENTS

Offensive or inappropriate comments are subject to removal. To report a comment, please e-mail us at feedback@ksby.com, and include the name of the story and information on the comment.

Thank you! KSBY.com


Comments

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4