Seven high-risk sex offenders in Orange County jails were released by the state, prompting the district attorney to issue a warning to the community, numerous sources reported.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of parks and beaches days after the state ordered the release of the seven sex offenders, both orders pushed due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, according to Fox News.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a Wednesday statement on Twitter that the jails are not currently overcrowded and that social distancing measures were being enforced, stressing that the release of high-risk inmates wasn’t necessary, Fox News reported. (RELATED: ’37 Minutes Later’: Inmates Released From Jail Due To Coronavirus Fears Keep Getting Arrested Again)
Please see below for my statement clarifying information that was reported inaccurately. pic.twitter.com/spuD5N3ixg
— OC Sheriff Don Barnes (@OCSheriffBarnes) April 29, 2020
District Attorney Todd Spitzer said the men are likely to reoffend and issued a safety warning.
“These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend,” Spitzer said in a statement according to Fox News. “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.”
The DA’s office also said that Court Commissioner Joseph Dane ordered their releases throughout April, even though the men had been charged with tampering with their GPS monitoring devices.
The seven released inmates have been convicted of various sexual and violent crimes, including sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon, child molestation, indecent exposure, parole violations and entering school grounds as a sex offender.
Newsom shut down Orange County beaches Thursday despite county officials arguing that they had made progress in flattening the coronavirus curve, especially compared to neighboring counties.
“My job as governor is to keep you safe,” Newsom said Thursday according to the Los Angeles Times.
Newsom and Spitzer’s respective offices were reached for comment but did not respond in time for publication.