Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 11
California Supreme Court sides with DA Dudley in Karsai case
BY JEREMY THOMAS
The California Supreme Court agreed with Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley on May 17, preventing the release of a sexually violent predator into the county.
The state high court’s Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye granted a petition filed by Dudley and ordered Tibor Karsai’s case transferred back to the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento for a decision on his relocation.
The appellate court initially denied Dudley’s request to keep Karsai, a 59-year-old twice-convicted rapist, from being released into the county as a transient in April. The Supreme Court’s order directs the Placer County Superior Court, which has tried to find a suitable place for Karsai since November, to “show cause” why Dudley’s motion shouldn’t be granted.
“This rare decision by the California Supreme Court provides support for District Attorney Dudley’s contention that the decision by the Placer County Superior Court to release a sexually violent predator as a transient was legally incorrect,” Dudley’s office said in a statement. “This also means that the previous order to release Tibor Karsai will continue to be stayed until the Court of Appeal reaches a decision.”
Karsai was found guilty of rape in Santa Barbara County in 1974, and of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl in Placer County in 1980. He was designated as a sexually violent predator and was scheduled for release from a mental hospital on April 16.
After Placer County Superior Court Judge James Garobolino’s decision to move Karsai to Santa Maria was effectively blocked by an emergency ordinance in November, the judge ordered his release to Santa Barbara County. Dudley has argued the relocation wouldn’t serve Karsai’s best interests and doesn’t fit the state law’s legal definition of his “last known domicile.”
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