Wilk Appalled in Placement of Yet Another Sexually Violent Predator in Antelope Valley

Today, Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) released the following statement after learning that Orange County Superior Court Judge Megan L. Wagner has ruled that sexually violent predator Lawtis Donald Rhoden will be placed in the Antelope Valley. 

“Today’s ruling is appalling and a slap in the face to the hard-working families living in the Antelope Valley who shared their concerns with the court. This is the second sexually violent predator to be foisted upon the families in my district in the last few months – a dangerous trend that completely disregards the concerns and safety of the community. The continued placement of sexually violent predators like Rhoden in this one area of L.A County is absolutely wrong and so unfair to the families in this working-class family-oriented community,” said Wilk. 

Background on the Antelope Valley and Registered Sex Offenders from Megan’s Database: 

-Los Angeles County has a population of more than 10.4 million residents and, according to the Megan Law’s database, it also has nearly 14,000 registered sex offenders. That is one sex offender per every 770 residents.

-The City of Lancaster has a population of roughly 160,000 residents with 426 registered sex offenders. That is one sex offender for every 373 residents. The unincorporated area just to the south and east of Lancaster has one sex offender for every 50 residents. 

-The city of Lancaster has more than double the number of sex offenders per person than the county overall. That is unfair to the hard-working families, senior citizens, and businesses that Senator Wilk represents and a dangerous trend for the community. 

Rhoden’s extensive criminal history:  

Convicted on multiple counts of rape, sexual battery, and sexual assaults in California, Florida, and Tennessee, Rhoden will be under the care of the state-funded company Liberty Healthcare once he is released. 

Background on Senate Bill 1199: 

Senator Wilk introduced SB 1199, which Governor Brown signed into law in 2018. SB 1199 amended Section 3003 of the Penal Code to “require an inmate released on parole or post-release community supervision who was committed to prison for a registrable sex offense, to be returned through all efforts reasonably possible to the city that was the last legal residence of the inmate prior to incarceration, or otherwise to a close geographic location in which he or she has family, social ties, or other economic ties and access to reentry services, unless a return to that location would violate any other law or pose a risk to his or her victim.”