After months of debate over where to place a soon-to-be paroled convicted rapist, a Placer County Superior Judge has decided that San Luis Obispo County won’t be it.
On March 9, the SLO County Sheriff’s Department was notified that Superior Court Judge James Garbolino had removed SLO County from a list of potential placement options for the man’s release.
Over the last few months, officials from the Sheriff’s Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and SLO County Counsel had gone to Placer County to lobby Garbolino, arguing that a proposed location near the Sheriff’s Department’s main facility in San Luis Obispo wasn’t appropriate.
Tibor Karsai, 58, was convicted in 1980 of kidnapping and raping a 16-year old girl in the northeastern California city of Auburn. His upcoming release sparked a fight between the judge and a number of counties over who gets him, and who’s responsible for monitoring him.
Sheriff Ian Parkinson has argued that the mobile home considered for Karsai is too close to the Juvenile Services Center.
According to state law, parolees are required to be released in their last known county of residence, but in Karsai’s case, that location isn’t clear. He was initially slated for release in Santa Maria, where his mother once had a home, based on investigative records drafted during his conviction.
That option, however, upset the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, which argued that Karsai’s last known residence was actually in Morro Bay.
It remains unclear where he’ll end up. According to a Sheriff’s Department news release, Judge Garbolino will continue reviewing possible options. A gag order has been issued on the case.