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Judge grants unconditional release to sex offender living in Santa Barbara Co.

Posted at 1:31 PM, Oct 10, 2018

A judge Wednesday ruled that a sex offender who has been living in Santa Barbara County for the past five years should be released unconditionally.

That means Tibor Karsai no longer needs to be monitored as he has been under the Liberty Healthcare conditional release program and no longer meets the classifications to be considered a “sexually violent predator.”

Karsai was convicted of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in 1975 and raping a 16-year-old girl in 1980. He spent 30 years in a state mental hospital until a Placer County judge ordered his release as a transient into Santa Barbara County in 2013. Karsai once lived in the area and his mother still lived in Santa Maria.

Karsai, living in a trailer on the outskirts of Santa Maria, was initially supervised by security guards 24/7. After a couple of years with no issues, the security guards were gone, but Karsai was still being monitored by Liberty Healthcare via surveillance, a GPS ankle bracelet, random home visits, and drug testing.

John MacKinnon, a senior deputy district attorney with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and who has been assigned to Karsai’s case for more than seven years, says the release comes after four doctors who evaluated Karsai said he no longer presents a “serious risk.”

“He is still a risk, everyone agrees,” MacKinnon told KSBY News, “However, not a serious risk. The risk level has dropped that we can no longer (legally) keep him in the conditional release program.”

In court, Karsai’s behavior while on conditional release supervision was reportedly described as “exemplary.”

MacKinnon says Karsai completed supervision without any violations or issues for the last five-and-a-half years and now has a job and other social interactions.

Karsai will still have to register as a sex offender every 90 days.