A Placer County judge has denied the immediate release of William Stephenson, a sexually violent predator, following a public hearing. Stephenson, 66, has a history of sexual battery dating back to the 1980s and was sentenced to 31 years in state prison for his crimes. He is currently enrolled in the state’s sexually violent predator program under state law.
This would have been Stephenson’s second release, as he was previously released in 2014 but was arrested in 2017 for possession of child pornography. Despite being eligible for release for a year and a half, all possible locations have fallen through, according to Liberty Healthcare, the supervising entity for Stephenson.
On July 17, Placer County Superior Court granted Stephenson conditional transient release, allowing him to live without a permanent address and potentially be placed in an RV or motel room. However, this decision has faced opposition from concerned Placer County residents.
During the hearing, Placer County Superior Court Judge Garen Horst emphasized the need for transparency and expressed his lack of updates from Liberty Healthcare until Friday morning. Liberty Healthcare advised against straight transient release and stated that they are still searching for alternative plans, such as an immobile trailer. A hotel-motel release is not considered a desirable location.
The judge stressed the importance of confirming housing for Stephenson and ensuring proper supervision after his release. He ordered Liberty Healthcare’s letter to be released to the public. A review meeting has been scheduled for September 20.