Serial rapist Christopher Hubbart’s release from a state mental health hospital to a community east of Palmdale has been delayed because of a virus outbreak, according to a court order issued Thursday.
Santa Clara County Judge Gilbert Brown extended the deadline for the state to release Hubbart from July 7 to July 21.
Vonda Tracey, a Santa Clara County prosecutor handling the case, said Coalinga State Hospital is under quarantine because of a norovirus scare.
“I don't have any reason to believe that Hubbart himself has the virus,” she said. “My understanding is that the hospital is not releasing anyone until the quarantine order is lifted.”
The Department of State Hospitals did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The order brings temporary relief to hundreds of Lake Los Angeles and Palmdale residents who have protested Hubbart’s pending arrival in their community.
Hubbart, 63, admitted to sexually assaulting more than 40 women and came to be known as the “pillowcase rapist” because he covered victims’ heads with a pillowcase before raping them in their bedrooms.
After his release from prison, he became the first offender to enter the state’s sexually violent predator program, which indefinitely places offenders with mental disorders in a state hospital.
Last May, Judge Brown found that Hubbart no longer posed a risk of re-offense and could be moved to an outpatient program in Los Angeles County.
With the help of an outside firm, the state found a small, one-story home for Hubbart on the 20300 block of East Avenue R in Lake Los Angeles.
Signs expressing frustration that Hubbart is being "dumped" on the Antelope Valley community have sprung across the neighborhood.
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