Child Rapist Arrested Just After Release
SANTA ANA (CBS 2) — A sex offender whose planned release drew
warnings from public officials was arrested within an hour after his release Wednesday for violating his parole, authorities said.
Lawrence Joseph Brown, 52, was taken back into custody in Tustin just 30 miles from the California Institution for Men in Chino.
“We had investigators following him, and he was in a car with a woman,” a violation of a stipulation of his parole, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
The woman was Ruby Huggler, a woman Brown had stayed with during a brief parole earlier this year, and Rackauckas said he believed she picked him up from the prison.
Brown was released after serving 25 years of a 49-year-sentence for the abduction and molestation of a 7-year-old girl and 8-year-old girl in two separate incidents in Santa Ana in 1983.
He was returned to the state prison in Chino after his Wednesday arrest.
The arrest came after a series of new legal developments in the attempt to keep Brown in prison, all of which were rendered moot by Brown’s release but made relevant again by his arrest.
“Once he was released we lost jurisdiction,” Rackauckas said.
He said a woman came forward early Wednesday and said she recognized Brown’s picture from news stories and believed he was the man who raped her as a child in the late 1970s.
Rackauckas said that after hearing about the new allegations one of the state evaluators who had ruled Brown was not a sexually violent predator who could be kept in prison, changed her mind.
He said the statute of limitations had expired on the alleged crimes but they could be considered in evaluations of his mental state.
Rackauckas said his office was also informed earlier that it could file a petition claiming legal error by the Department of Corrections — something they scrambled to do until Brown’s release and plan to do again now that he’s back in prison.
“I feel good that he’s in custody and that we’re going to be filing a petition,” Rackauckas said. “I certainly believe that we’ll be able to protect the public from this individual.”
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