A judge Friday blocked the placement of a man designated as a sexually violent predator in a neighborhood in La Crescenta, but assured him that he will eventually be released somewhere else.
Superior Court Judge James Bianco cited five factors, including a significant number of people living in close proximity to the proposed location and inconsistent cell phone reception that he said is a key to GPS monitoring, in rejecting the bid to allow Calvin Grassmier to be released to live at 5632 Freeman Ave.
The judge said that he believed the challenge posed by those factors is “too great” and that he “didn’t agree with this particular location,” but said he had “great confidence” that an appropriate placement will be made.
“And Mr. Grassmier, I want to tell you that you will be placed in the community,” the judge said, adding that he hopes better coordination with local law enforcement will help to address potential concerns as early as possible.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was among those who joined area residents in objecting to Grassmier’s release in La Crescenta.
“Releasing violent sexual predators, such as Calvin Grassmier, into our communities makes us all less safe, as well as places an unnecessary burden on public safety resources,” Villanueva said in a statement released last week. “I urge the Superior Court to look at alternative areas where Calvin Grassmier can be placed, other than residential communities in Los Angeles.”
The judge noted that the community was “vociferously opposed” to Grassmier’s release in La Crescenta.
Grassmier’s attorney, Tony Corti, noted that his client was ordered last November to be conditionally released, but that he is still being held.
“Mr. Grassmier is not the same person that he was in 1988 … He’s a changed man,” the defense attorney told the judge.
Corti said his client is “ready to begin his new life” and “intends on complying with everything,” noting that he will be under “constant supervision.”
Deputy District Attorney Jay S. Grobeson acknowledged that the concern about placing somebody designated as a sexually violent predator in any community would exist no matter where it was, but said that the La Crescenta site was so far from optimal that it was not the appropriate location for him.
Grassmier was committed to the Department of State Hospitals as a “sexually violent predator” in 1999 and held in a secure hospital for treatment, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
In a statement released shortly after the judge’s ruling, county Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she was “truly relieved” by the judge’s decision.
“This potential placement was a grave concern for me, the impacted residents and the community at large who mobilized and expressed their strong concerns,” Barger said.
Barger said she has authored a motion that is set to be heard June 22 at the Board of Supervisors meeting that is aimed at furthering the county’s efforts to promote transparency in future court proceedings involving conditional releases and residential placements of sexually violent predators in Los Angeles County.