LITTLEROCK (CBSLA) – A judge Wednesday ruled that a sexually violent predator can be placed in the Antelope Valley community of Littlerock despite weeks of protests from hundreds of residents.
Superior Court Judge James Bianco Wednesday ordered 66-year-old Calvin Lynn Grassmier to be placed at a four-bedroom home at 10320 East Ave. Q-10 before Oct. 1.
Grassmier will be under surveillance 24 hours a day and will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor. The surveillance may be reduced eventually for good behavior, according to the California Department of State Hospitals.
Grassmier was convicted of sexual assaults in the 1970s and 1980s, but officials noted that his last crime occurred in 1988, and none of the offenses involved minors.
Grassmier was sentenced in 1989 to a 15-year state prison term. He was subsequently 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.
Grassmier was ordered last November to be released on the condition that he receive community treatment, according to his attorney Tony Corti.
In July, Bianco blocked the placement of Grassmier at a home in La Crescenta. In his ruling he cited 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.
When news of Grassmier’s potential placement in the Antelope Valley first surfaced last month, it drew immediate resistance in the community. Several thousand people signed petitions in opposition, and more than 1,200 people sent emails to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, the Antelope Valley Press reported.
Fifteen people from the area traveled to the Hollywood Courthouse on Wednesday to make their feelings known to the judge, including a rape survivor whose letter was read aloud, the newspaper reported.
“Full on tears down my face because I’m a mom of four teenage daughters,” the woman said after the ruling. “They’ve seen what I’ve been through. They’ve seen how my whole life was flipped upside down because of it.”
Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) and L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger also objected to the ruling.
“I am deeply disappointed by today’s court decision,” Barger said in a statement. “Placing Mr. Grassmier in Littlerock further traumatizes this already marginalized community. The residents have been historically disenfranchised and Mr. Grassmier’s placement reinforces the belief that residents’ voices and safety are not taken into consideration. This placement, which is located within two miles of four schools, will make families feel unsafe and unsettled in their own homes and neighborhoods.”
State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) also released the following statement in response to the ruling:
“I am appalled and disgusted that this judge ignored the pleas of thousands of families who plainly said ‘no’ to the placement of this sexually violent predator in their community.
“Rural communities have become California’s dumping ground for the worst offenders, and today’s decision is no exception. If the judge believes Calvin Grassmier needs 24/7 security/surveillance to keep the community safe, maybe a better decision all around would have been to keep him locked up.”
Grassmier’s release is being supervised by Liberty Healthcare Group, a private firm the state pays to place and supervise people who are designated “sexually violent predators.”
“Mr. Grassmier is not the same person that he was in 1988…He’s a changed man,” the defense attorney told the judge Wednesday.
Corti said his client was “ready to begin his new life” and “intends on complying with everything,” noting that he will be under “constant supervision.”
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)