SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — The future home of a sexually violent predator has been left in limbo.
On Tuesday, a judge temporarily denied Dariel Shazier’s request to move to rural Sacramento County after protests from neighbors. But it’s not a final decision.
Shazier’s last publicly-known address is in Del Paso Heights, a community that also protested his move but was unsuccessful. Many there question how sex offender placement decisions are made.
Shazier spent more than a dozen years in prison for sex crimes against children. When doctors and judges decided he could live in a community again, the protests came quickly.
“He done did this too many times so there ain’t no way you can come here,” said Clifton Lawrence, a neighbor in Del Paso Heights.
Ken Rosenfeld, a Sacramento Attorney, said: “Nobody wants them. Nobody wants these people anywhere near them and people will light up the torches and get out the pitchforks.”
But why are some communities more successful than others?
“Politics plays a very large role here,” Rosenfeld said. He has experience with the legal process of placing sexually violent predators in neighborhoods.
In 2017, a judge shot down Shazier’s proposed placement in Placer County after the community rallied and made their rage clear. Two years later, Del Paso Heights was the target. Residents were warned Shazier could be coming, they protested, but a judge let him move in.
“They find a community they feel as though is down, but they won’t bring him to a rich area,” Lawrence said.
Rosenfeld said communities with more money have more influence, and placement can have a lot to do with re-election campaigns.
“The voice of a community such as Del Paso Heights compared to the voice of a community such as Granite Bay. Common sense and math here tells you why the answer is what it is,” Rosenfeld.
When a judge “denied without prejudice” Shazier’s request to move to Wilton on Tuesday, “…they’re basically saying, I’m not saying yes but I’m not going to say no either forever,” said Rosenfeld.
Another outraged community, waiting to see if they’ll get their way.
Rosenfeld said over the last 10 years, it’s become more and more common to place sex offenders in neighborhoods. He said usually retired judges handle those cases, reducing political pressure.
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