Christopher Hubbart has been convicted of raping at least 40 women over a span of 30 years, and is slated to be released from prison to a halfway house due to a loophole in California's three strikes law. How is this possible?
Hubbart, known affectionately in the media as 'The Pillowcase Rapist', was originally arrested in 1972 and convicted of raping 25 women when he was just 17-years-old. His methodology included entering homes while subduing women by placing pillowcases over their faces to muffle their screams while he committed his crimes. Amazingly rather than land in prison for life after 25 rapes California classified Hubbart as a 'mentally disordered sex offender.' He was involuntarily committed to the Atascadero State Hospital which has discretion when to release offenders, and after treatment Hubbart was no longer a threat to society according to medical staff. In 1979 he was, once again, a free man. That's less than 3 months in state custody per rape.
In the following three years, to the surprise of nobody, Hubbart continued to commit heinous sex crimes. In 1982 Hubbart was convicted of raping 15 additional women. Rather than receive a cushy sentence at a state hospital he was sentenced to 16-years in prison. The state upped the ante to a year in prison per rape this time, but he did not serve his full sentence. After living for 8-years in state custody, and with good behavior, Hubbart was once again released to walk the streets in 1990.
Immediately following his release Hubbart, again, attempted to rape two more women but both victims escaped. Despite having been convicted of raping 40 women the presiding judge saw fit to not sentence Hubbart to life in prison, but rather to follow a new law in California that says serial sex offenders are to be treated as mental patients who are to be held in a hospital until they are deemed 'rehabilitated.' This could have possibly been a life sentence, as Hubbart's release was conditional upon a medical professional believing he is no longer a threat to himself or society. Doctors believed Hubbart's lies in the past, and could not possibly fall for his lies again...could they?
Oh but they could.
After being held in Coalinga State Hospital for the last 24 years doctors say that Christopher Hubbart, now 63-years-old, is no longer capable of rape. He's slated to be released from custody sometime in July 2014.
There are multiple variables in play here. Hubbart's been convicted of over 40 felonies of the worst nature and any rational person will ask, "Why isn't he in prison for life under California's three strikes rule?" A convenient loophole. Individuals who have been in custody prior to the law's enactment in 1994 are not bound to the statute. According to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey:
If these crimes were committed today, this inmate's release would not be in question. Today's violent sexual predators face life in prison.
Lacey asked the 6th District Court of Appeals to rescind Hubbart's release order. Her request was denied. She then went to California's Supreme Court to appeal the lunacy of such a deviant being allowed to occupy public spaces. Rather than hearing Lacey's case it was dismissed without explanation. The highest court in the land refused to hear Lacey's arguments. With that decision Hubbart, for good or bad, was on a collision course with meeting modern reality.
The location of where Hubbart will live after his release has had almost universal revulsion by local residents that have protested against the serial rapist. There are Facebook pages dedicated to preventing Hubbart's relocation, but to no avail. He will be released and nothing can be done to stop that fact. Hubbart will be required to register as a sex offender, and according to California law sex offenders are not eligible to live within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Therefore residents have attempted to have zoning laws changed in their communities to build parks to prevent Hubbart from taking up residency, but this has been to little avail.
Christopher Hubbart's original release date was supposed to be July 7, 2014. Because of an outbreak of the norovirus at the hospital holding Hubbart, the entire facility has been placed in quarantine. Therefore a judge has extended the deadline for Hubbart's release to July 21.
Barring another medical emergency Christopher Hubbart will soon be released from state custody and possibly walking the streets again. He will merely have to step out the front door of a halfway house.
Click here to watch a video by the child of one of Hubbart's victims that describes the horror of watching Hubbart rape their mother.
Lou Colagiovanni is the National Crime & Courts journalist for Examiner.com. He is the editor of Ruthless-politics.com, and We survived Bush. You will survive Obama. He is also a political columnist and consultant, and writes a column for WTF Magazine. In his spare time Lou writes restaurant reviews in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. His work has been published on thousands of websites across the Internet. Lou is regularly featured on television and radio. You may contact Lou at firstname.lastname@example.org.