Released sex offender makes his way to Orange

Cary Jay Smith in a recent, undated photo.
(Courtesy of Orange Police Department)

Nonregistered, convicted sex offender Cary Jay Smith has landed in the city of Orange, police said Friday.

Smith, 59, checked into a residential facility near Tustin Street and Chapman Avenue Friday, three days after he was released from 21 years in state psychiatric hospitals for openly fantasizing about raping and killing children, including a 7-year-old boy in his former Costa Mesa neighborhood. He was released without having to register as a sex offender despite a prior unrelated conviction for child annoyance, which is part of the child molestation code.

The California Department of Justice did not directly address the Daily Pilot’s questions this week about Smith’s registration status, nor has the governor’s office responded to requests for comment from the Pilot. The Orange County district attorney hasn’t heard back from the governor either, spokeswoman Kimberly Edds said Thursday.

The Orange County Health Care Agency recommended his placement at the facility at the direction of the state, according to a statement from the Orange Police Department. Officers then went to the facility and gave the house administrator a press release the Orange County district attorney’s office issued Tuesday alerting county residents to Smith’s release.

“Against the public safety warnings from the officers, the administrator accepted Cary Smith into their facility,” the department said.

The police department said it is surveilling Smith, “and we will do everything we can to have Cary Smith relocated.” He had been briefly spotted in Costa Mesa on Wednesday.

Although questioned, state officials have not explained why Smith was dropped from the sex offender registry.

Smith is not wanted for any crime and is not on probation or parole.

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