The state has recommended parole for Cody Woodson Klemp, a sex offender with over 140 years remaining on his prison sentence. The decision was made under California’s Elderly Parole Program, which allows inmates aged 50 or older who have served 20 continuous years of their sentence to be eligible for parole hearings. Klemp, 67, was granted parole earlier this month by the state parole board.
Klemp’s parole has been met with condemnation from his rape victim and Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin. Klemp was convicted in 1994 of 40 felony counts, including lewd acts on a child, oral copulation by force or violence, and unlawful intercourse/forcible rape. He had previously been convicted of rape in 1976 and attempted rape in 1981.
Klemp’s victim, who was 14 years old at the time of the abuse, has expressed fear for her safety if he is released. She has called for the parole board to reconsider its decision and has gone public with her story in the hopes of raising awareness.
Riverside County prosecutors plan to appeal the parole decision and have requested a hearing with Gov. Gavin Newsom to reconsider Klemp’s release. They argue that considering Klemp’s violent criminal history and admissions made to the parole board, it is shocking that his release would be considered.
Klemp has served 29 years of his 170-year sentence at the California Institution for Men in Chino. The parole board determines an inmate’s suitability for release based on age, time served, and whether their physical condition has reduced their risk of violence.