Coronavirus: California court orders release of 7 high-level sex offenders as gov criminalizes beach attendance

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Just days before California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of parks and beaches in Orange County, making it a criminal offense to step foot in the sand, the state ordered the release of seven high-risk sex offenders from the county’s jails over concerns they could contract coronavirus.

The court-ordered move prompted the District Attorney’s Office to issue a safety warning to the community this week, highlighting that the men are likely to re-offend.

“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend,” DA Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses. These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break.”

According to Spitzer’s office, Court Commissioner Joseph Dane ordered the controversial releases throughout April, despite the men having been charged with tampering with their GPS monitoring devices.

While the issue of coronavirus outbreaks in jammed U.S. prisons has been a cause of concern nationwide in recent weeks, this mandate has proven to be particularly controversial as only a small number of the “non-violent” 3,500 California state prisoners given early release as a result of the virus, officially termed COVID-19, were even tested for the contagion, according to local officials. – READ MORE

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