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Sexually violent predator granted transient release in Placer County | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

PLACER COUNTY — A Placer County judge granted transient release for a sexually violent predator convicted of multiple sex crimes, including in 2017 when he was rearrested for possession of child pornography in Roseville.

William Robert Stephenson is set to be released as a transient and provided an RV to live in that will be purchased by Liberty Healthcare, the state’s contractor, as part of CONREP, the California Department of State Hospital’s Conditional Release Program. 

The transient release was granted after a three-hour hearing and argument from the Placer County District Attorney’s Office in opposition, as Stephenson will be released in Placer County. The location of where he will be placed is still under review and will be addressed during a September 1 hearing open to the public. 

The search to find Stephenson permanent housing has been a months-long process and involved pushback from local neighbors against Stephenson’s move into their community due, in part, to his repeat offenses. 

Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire explained that without a permanent residence for 24/7 monitoring, a sexually violent predator may pose a greater risk.

“By its very nature, a transient status means someone is going to be moving around. There are more obligations on the individual, which means there are more opportunities for failure,” said Gire in an interview with CBS13 in May 2023. 

Even though Stephenson’s convictions in the 1990s were in El Dorado County, the state Department of Hospitals housed him in Placer County when he was conditionally released as a sexually violent predator for the first time in 2014. He was re-arrested in Roseville for possession of child pornography in 2017 and is now eligible for release again.  

Gire’s office has opposed Stephenson’s release since the start. In a statement, the DA’s Office said: 

“The Placer County District Attorney’s Office will continue to oppose the transient release of Mr. Stephenson. The Placer County District Attorney’s Office will also pursue legislation prohibiting the transient release of individuals deemed to be sexually violent.  Additionally, the Office will request to participate in the current state audit of the state Sexually Violent Predator program authored by California State Senator Brian Jones.” 

The next court date for Stephenson is a September 1 public hearing when the court will decide the placement, during a Sept. 1 hearing. The hearing will be at Department 4 of the Placer County Superior Court at 8:30 a.m. and is open to the public.  

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