Dec 5, 2011 9:35 PM by Ariel Wesler

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.

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