An Orange County jury determined Friday that a twice- convicted child molester who had himself castrated in his bid for freedom from a state mental hospital is no longer a sexually violent predator and should be released.
Kevin Reilly, 53, plans to enroll in an outpatient program for sex offenders in Utah as soon as he is released from the custody of the Orange County sheriff, which was expected to happen this afternoon, according to his attorney, Deputy Public Defender Holly Galloway.
Reilly audibly sighed in relief when the finding was announced, wiped away tears from his eyes and asked a deputy for a tissue as he later sobbed. Some of the jurors also cried.
The seven men and five men on the jury reached their finding in what is essentially a civil proceeding after they began deliberating Wednesday.
Juror Mike Wilson said the panel was initially evenly split on whether Reilly should stay committed in a mental institution. For Wilson, the case came down to the three experts who testified Reilly was no longer a sexually violent predator, a change from their earlier opinions when they evaluated him.
“If (the prosecution) had just one doctor saying there was a high probability to re-offend it would be different,” Wilson said.
“At the end of the day the subject matter is disgusting,” Wilson said. “But I continued to focus on what I had to do… Is there proof he would re- offend?”
Wilson said he was also convinced Reilly was safe for release because he has participated in courses while in custody, agreed to be castrated and because three doctors who have evaluated him over the years changed their opinion on whether he is fit for freedom.
Some jurors did not find Reilly’s testimony convincing, but Wilson said it didn’t matter because of the expert testimony.
In his testimony during the civil proceeding in which prosecutors attempted to keep him confined to a state mental hospital, Kevin Reilly struggled to explain his sexual attraction to children. He blamed his behavior on financial woes caused by living above his means.
Asked why he molested his first victim, a 4-year-old girl who attended a San Diego daycare business he operated with his then-wife in March 1982, Reilly replied, “I don’t know if I can answer that question. At that point in time I was literally out of control.”
Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll argued that Reilly remains a sexually violent predator and should be confined indefinitely to a state mental institution.
Reilly was arrested and spent a day in jail for the molestation of the 4- year-old girl, but her parents declined to press charges. He and his wife later moved to a Tustin condominium to save money, Reilly testified.
Reilly lured his next victim into his apartment with the promise of a soda.
“It’s really hard to put into words,” Reilly said when asked why he found the young girl sexually attractive. “The fact that it was easy, she wasn’t going to tell and I only cared about my own gratification.”
Reilly and the girl engaged in “horse play” before he tried to convince her to take off her bathing suit, he testified.
“We started to wrestle and that’s when I made the comment, ‘You have a hole in your bathing suit. I can fix it,’ ” Reilly testified. “She said, ‘No, I don’t. You have a wife.”‘
Reilly molested another 4-year-old girl he met by the condo complex’s pool.
“I can’t explain the sexual component,” Reilly said. “It’s illogical. As I sit here today and think about it it’s almost repugnant. It is repugnant.”
Reilly said he had a job with a collection agency, but was “living beyond my means,” and was stressed out about it. He said he lied to his neighbors, telling them he was a police officer in hopes of gaining their trust and easier access to their children.
About a week after molesting the second girl in Tustin, Reilly was arrested, but he posted bail in December 1982, he testified. The following March, Reilly kidnapped his 2-year-old daughter and took her to Mesa, Ariz., where he again told neighbors he was a police officer.
While living in Arizona under a phony name, Reilly molested his own daughter, saying he felt he could easily get away with it.
Over Easter weekend in 1983, Reilly molested another 4-year-old girl in Arizona as well as her older 8-year-old brother, he testified. He said he was not typically attracted to boys.
“I think it could have been anybody at this point,” Reilly said. “It just shows how out of control I was at the time.”
Reilly pleaded guilty in August 1983 to molesting the two Tustin girls and kidnapping his daughter and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in Arizona for molesting the 4-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother.
After Reilly’s release from prison, he was living with a new wife and their 4-year-old daughter, who he also molested, Carroll said. He was convicted in 1999 and sentenced to another three years in prison, but before he could be paroled, Orange County prosecutors filed a sexually violent predator petition against him.
In 2003, Reilly underwent a voluntary castration and has been treated for his pedophilia, Carroll said.
Although at least two experts who have evaluated Reilly do not think he would sexually assault anymore children, Carroll said, “He still has sexual thoughts of pre-pubescent girls. … He is not honest, he is not transparent and he continues to manipulate. The evidence is going to show he is still a sexually violent predator.”
— City News Service
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