Cary Jay Smith, the Orange County pedophile who was released without explanation after two decades from an involuntary stay at a state mental hospital, has moved to Lake Elsinore in Riverside County after spending a brief time in nearby Corona, authorities said.
The Riverside County Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station posted a notice on its Facebook page at 11:30 p.m. Saturday saying Smith, 59, was in that city. Earlier, Smith was in Corona after relocating to a motel from an adult residential facility in Orange, where police said he was on Friday.
“Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department are currently watching Smith while he is staying at a local hotel to ensure the safety of our community,” the station’s Facebook post said.
“Smith is not on any form of supervised release nor is he required to register as a sex offender. Smith is allowed to move around without restrictions. We will update the community when he leaves the city,” deputies said. The location where Smith was staying was not further identified.
Smith’s case has drawn anger and attention from Orange County officials because of his exemption from registration as a sex offender, for reasons local authorities say are not clear. If he was registered, he would be restricted from living near parks, schools and other places where children gather.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steele had urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to block Smith’s release.
Orange police made no secret of their desire for Smith to move out of the city. “The Orange Police Department is committed to public safety and we will do everything we can to have Cary Smith relocated,” the department said in a posting Friday, when Smith was in that city.
Smith had been in custody since 1999 when his wife at the time gave authorities a letter Smith wrote about his urge to kidnap and molest a 7-year-old boy in his Costa Mesa neighborhood.
While Smith was not criminally charged in connection to the 1999 letter, he has at least one conviction in his past – for a 1983 case in which he reportedly paid a young boy $1 to run through sprinklers in the nude.
Smith, an admitted pedophile, was held against his will at Coalinga State Hospital, and before that, Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County. Because he was not charged, Smith had the opportunity every six months to argue for his freedom in court.
Hospital and medical officials, along with county attorneys, had sought each time to keep Smith locked up. During past hearings, Smith has openly admitted his fantasies about molesting young boys.
The state hospital did not send county attorneys a petition to renew the mental health hold against Smith before it expired on July 11, local officials said.
Source: Orange County Register