SAN DIEGO — A San Diego County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that he is allowed under state law to reconsider his prior decision to place a sexually violent predator known as the “Bolder-Than-Most” rapist back into the community, where the felon would continue treatment under a conditional release program.
Last October, San Diego Superior Court Judge David M. Gill ordered Alvin Ray Quarles, 56, released to a home in Jacumba Hot Springs. But an agreement to rent that residence fell through, leading Gill to order Liberty Healthcare Corp., which runs the conditional release program, to conduct a countywide search for a new place for Quarles to live.
Prosecutors, along with county Supervisor Dianne Jacob, subsequently requested that Gill reconsider, though whether he was allowed to reverse the ruling, under state law, was unclear in the months following his initial decision.
During a court hearing Friday morning, Gill stated that it was “abundantly clear that the court has continuing jurisdiction to reconsider its earlier hearing,” though much of Friday’s session was conducted behind closed doors, and without elaboration on how Gill reached his latest ruling.
“That is a big weight taken off all of our shoulders — to worry about whether or not smart and safe decisions are being made for our community. So yes, I’m very pleased with the outcome today,” said Mary Taylor, a victim of Quarles whose been fighting with a group of activists to keep him locked away.
A March 19 hearing was scheduled to hear motions for Quarles’ eventual evidentiary hearing regarding a potential release. The evidentiary hearing is tentatively set for May 16.
Witness testimony and a newly drafted psychiatric evaluation from Coalinga State Hospital are expected to factor into Gill’s decision on either placing Quarles into the conditional release program, or ordering him returned to custody.
“We believe the evidence that will be admitted at the evidentiary hearings coming up will support a very strong basis for the court to change his original ruling to release Mr. Quarles,” said Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto.
Quarles was dubbed the “Bolder-Than-Most” rapist because of the way he attacked his victims, at knifepoint, sometimes forcing the women’s husbands or boyfriends to watch.
He pleaded guilty in 1989 to committing more than a dozen sexual assaults in the mid-to-late 1980s and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Prior to Quarles’ release from prison, the District Attorney’s Office filed a petition to have him civilly committed as a sexually violent predator.
In 2014, Quarles was committed to the Department of State Hospitals to undergo sex offender treatment. In September 2016, Quarles petitioned the court to be granted release through the Conditional Release Program for sex offenders.