A Contra Costa judge has cleared the way for the release of a violent sexual predator who could be freed from a state hospital within the next month,
authorities said Wednesday.
Judge John Minney's ruling last week came after Cary Verse's doctors testified that the 32-year-old convict was ready to live in public again under terms of California's sexually violent predator law.
"If anything, there was more evidence presented that is supportive of his conditional release," prosecutor Brian Haynes said Wednesday.
Verse has been held at Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo county since 1998. He has a history of sex crimes, most recently the 1992 sexual assault of a man at a homeless shelter in Richmond.
While in treatment at Atascadero, Verse won consistent praise for his progress in therapy. A chemical castration device has been implanted in his arm, and upon his release, his movements will be monitored by a global positioning system.
Verse is among the first of hundreds of sexually violent predators in California to qualify for release. A Santa Clara County court has granted release to sex offender Brian DeVries, but public objections have stymied attempts to find suitable housing for him.
Lawyers will be back in court today for an update from the state Department of Mental Health on possible housing options for Verse in Contra Costa County.
Haynes said finding Verse a place to live would be a challenge, as it has been in similar cases. A devout Jehovah's Witness, Verse has asked to live in the Martinez area close to a church where he can practice his faith.
Verse's attorney, Contra Costa Deputy Public Defender Ron Boyer, declined to comment Wednesday, citing issues of confidentiality and privacy.
E-mail Charlie Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org.