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Mother Lode State Senator Voices Objection To Sexual Predator Release

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Merced County, CA – The impending release of a violent sexual offender has Mother Lode State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil voicing major concerns that the laws regarding these releases are not being followed.

Alvarado-Gil made those objections while at a press conference last week at the Merced County Sheriff’s Office. She expressed deep reservations about the release of 72-year-old Kevin Gray, a sexually violent predator (SVP), into the county. The release, authorized by a judge and scheduled for February 20th, has raised questions about adherence to the guidelines established in SB 1034, effective January 1, 2023.

The bill states that a sexually violent predator cannot be housed in any county other than their county of domicile unless the judge petitions “extraordinary circumstances” for not finding a suitable residence in the person’s county of origin. The decision to release Gray into Merced County comes after the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) spent several years searching for a suitable home in Stanislaus County.

Senator Alvarado-Gil asserted, “The safety and well-being of our community members are non-negotiable priorities. We will not allow the release of sexually violent predators without rigorous adherence to the law.”

Additionally, she has argued to protect four other counties in her district from becoming what she calls “dumping grounds for sexually violent offenders” and questions the DSH process for making these decisions as “very concerning.” One of those counties is Amador, where in June Alvarado-Gil spoke out against another SVP with no ties to the area being placed in the rural Shake Ridge Road area northeast of Sutter Creek.

The Senator’s office advised that she continues to work with public safety partners and colleagues in Sacramento to explore avenues for strengthening legislation to close any loopholes that can jeopardize public safety regarding any impending release of a sexually violent predator.

“Let me be clear that I, nor my partners in Senate District 4 and the Legislature, will tolerate any compromises to community safety. I do not accept this latest ruling and will press to have this case thoroughly examined and take direct action to close the loopholes and shut the front door on the release of ANY sexually violent predators in my district,” the senator concluded.

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