For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
CHILD MOLESTER/FORMER TEACHER WITH 17 KNOWN VICTIMS TO BE RELEASED INTO COMMUNITY WITHIN 72 HOURS OVER VIGOROUS OBJECTION OF OCDA
*The People have argued to have the respondent civilly committed as a Sexually Violent Predator
SANTA ANA – Over the vigorous objection and arguments of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA), a child molester with 17 known victims will be released into the community within the next 72 hours. Alan Thomas Rigby, 66, has been in a state mental hospital for 16 years, where he was committed after serving 50 percent of a 19-year prison sentence.
At a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) probable cause hearing today, Judge Kimberly Menninger found that probable cause did not exist that Rigby is likely to engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior upon his release. The standard of proof for probable cause is whether a reasonable person could entertain a strong suspicion that the offender is an SVP. The OCDA argued to keep Rigby civilly committed as an SVP and believes Rigby still poses a danger to the community based on his past crimes and propensity for sexual assaults against children.
Rigby will be released into the community from Coalinga State Hospital within 72 hours and plans to live with his sister in Pennsylvania, Michigan, or New York. He will be required to register as a sex offender within five days of release and be listed on the Megan’s Law website. The exact date and time of his release will be determined by the state mental hospital and is unknown at this time.
Deputy District Attorney Shannon Back of the Sexual Assault Unit handled this case for the OCDA.
Circumstances of the Sexual Assaults
Between 1985 and 1987, Rigby was working as a school physical education teacher and molested approximately 15 boys and two girls, ages 10 to 14 years old. The majority of the molestation involved Rigby instructing the victims to perform sexual acts for what he called “initiation.” He made his victims believe they were part of a secret club called “The Togas,” which necessarily included this molestation. Rigby also masturbated many times in front of the victims.
On Nov. 4, 1988, Rigby was convicted of 18 counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of lewd acts on a child with force. Three counts included allegations of use of force, violence, duress, menace and threat of bodily harm. Three counts included allegations of Rigby occupying a position of special trust, as he was a teacher, and committing an act of substantial sexual conduct. He