HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — A judge Friday blocked the placement of a 66-year-old man designated a sexually violent predator in a La Crescenta neighborhood.
“Our children can now sleep at night,” Alex Gardner, a Briggs Terrace resident, said. “Our mothers can now sleep at night, and those victims of sexual assault can now go back to the healing.”READ MORE: Woman, 30, Suffering From Depression Goes Missing In Canyon Country
Superior Court Judge James Bianco said his decision to reject the bid to have Calvin Lynn Grassmier placed at a home in the 5600 block of Freeman Avenue was based on five factors, including a significant number of people living in close proximity to the proposed location and inconsistent cell phone reception, which is key to GPS monitoring.
Bianco said he believed the challenge posed by those factors was “too great” and that he “didn’t agree with this particular location,” but said he was confident an appropriate placement would be made.
“And Mr. Grassmier, I want to tell you that you will be placed in the community,” he said.
Bianco said he hoped better communication with law enforcement would help to address potential concerns as soon as possible.
As for the La Crescenta placement, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was among those who joined area residents in objecting to the placement.
“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,” he 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.”
Grassmier’s attorney, Tony Corti, said that his client was ordered last November to be conditionally released, but was still being held.
“Mr. Grassmier is not the same person that he was in 1988,” Corti said. “He’s a changed man.”READ MORE: Person Struck And Killed By Amtrak Train In North Hollywood
Corti said his client was “ready to begin his new life” and intended to comply with every stipulation of his release, including the fact that he would be under constant supervision.
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.
“I cannot think of a worse location to place an individual like this,” Gardner said.
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she was “truly relieved,” shortly after the decision was announced.
“This potential placement was a grave concern for me, the impacted residents and the community at large who mobilized and expressed their strong concerns,” she said.
Barger said she has authored a motion aimed at furthering the county’s efforts to promote transparency in future court proceedings involving conditional releases and residential placements of sexually violence predators. It is set to be heard by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors June 22.
Further proceedings on Grassmier’s release are scheduled for June 25, though the La Crescenta residents said they would continue to fight his placement in any neighborhood.
“This is not just about our community,” Gardner said. “This is about all the communities that will suffer the same fate unless the laws are changed. We will be an advocate for wherever this placement happens next.”MORE NEWS: 'We're Ready To Go': Firefighters Warn Of Southern California Fire Danger In Coming Weeks
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)