Decision on release of 'pillowcase rapist' to Palmdale postponed

Northern California judge to issue a decision later regarding convicted serial rapist Christopher Hubbart

A judge postponed a decision Wednesday on whether to release the so-called pillowcase rapist to the Palmdale area despite hearing objections from at least a half-dozen residents.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Gilbert Brown opened his courtroom for a day and heard testimony from Antelope Valley residents concerned that Christopher Evans Hubbart may soon be residing in an unincorporated area east of Palmdale after his release.

"Nobody wants a sex offender as a neighbor much less this particular sex offender," said Santa Clara County prosecutor Vonda Tracey.

Brown did not issue a decision and took the matter under submission to review boxes and binders filled with letters from the public.

Brown planned to make his ruling at a later date on whether he will approve, modify or reject Hubbart's placement. When the decision is made, a safety team of investigators, prosecutors, sheriff's officials and a victim's rights advocate will be notified.

"I understand the public is upset and that they may be a little bit alarmed," Tracey said, adding officials were committed to ensuring the community is safe.

"He's not being allowed willy-nilly to run amock," she said.

In April, Brown tentatively approved Hubbart's release after a landlord agreed to rent him a home in the 20000 block of East Avenue R near Palmdale.

Hubbart, 63, admitted to raping and assaulting about 40 women in the 1970s and '80s in California and has been confined since 1996 due his violent sexual tendencies. Hubbart earned the nickname because he sometimes muffled women's screams with pillowcases.

Tracey said Hubbart will be under strict 24-hour supervision and will be required to wear an ankle GPS bracelet, essentially maintaining him under house arrest.

A team will be committed to monitoring Hubbart's movements and will accompany him if leaves his home, she added.

Because his last conviction was in Santa Clara County, a judge there has jurisdiction over his 2013 petition for release from the state mental hospital.

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