H-SANTA MARIA

Nov 14, 2011 9:54 PM by Ariel Wesler

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.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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