Statements by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

Statements by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas

George England Prison Release

March 11, 2010

 

With a heavy heart and substantial concern, I am here today to warn the community about a dangerous child molester who will be released to our streets tomorrow. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has placed an immigration hold on this inmate, believed to be a Canadian national.  We don’t know at this point whether he will be released to Orange County or to Canada. I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this information with the public. 

 

Even though I only have bad news to deliver, I am hoping parents will see England’s picture on TV, Internet, or in the newspapers, and keep him away from their children. Although England wants you to believe he’s feeble and elderly, he’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. 

 

You have heard from a remarkable woman.  She has chosen to reveal her name and show her face. She no longer wishes to be called Jane Doe, and the Orange County District Attorney’s office supports her decision. Ms. Zudis wanted to show the world that she is a survivor, even when the unthinkable happened to her. She shared her pain with you, her way, from her heart, hoping to prevent this from happening to another child. 

 

We’ve come a long way since 1977, when England was convicted of molesting three girls, ages nine and 10. Thanks to reforms in the criminal justice system, predators like England are now locked away for life for these types of crimes. Rarely these days will a judge allow a child molester to go “settle his affairs” after a conviction. Criminal justice reforms have given law enforcement a great avenue to protect the community from sexually violent predators –who can’t be reformed and who will reoffend. 

 

A defendant may be kept in a mental hospital indefinitely if he is declared a Sexually Violent Predator, also known as an SVP, with the right to petition the court for release every year.  In order for a defendant to be labeled as an SVP, the defendant must meet three criteria. 

 

They must:

One – be convicted of a sexually violent predatory act;

Two — have a diagnosed mental disorder as defined by the code; and

Three — be likely to commit another sexually violent predatory act unless he is kept in a secure facility. 

 

Two evaluators opine whether the defendant is an SVP.  If they agree that he is an SVP, then the DA’s office will be notified. The DA’s office will file a lawsuit to keep the defendant locked up in a mental institution.  If there is a split opinion, then two new evaluators will review the defendant. Here is where the system breaks down — if the opinions are split, the case is never sent to the DA’s office. Yes, you heard right. 

 

The DA’s office, and therefore the public, never