The Lincoln Avenue rapist is free to walk Lincoln Avenue again, or anywhere else he pleases – without a tracking device.
Patrick Henry Ghilotti, the notorious San Rafael serial rapist, was released from state supervision Thursday and may travel wherever he chooses.
Although living at home in Vacaville with his wife since his release from prison three years ago, his movement has been monitored by two tracking devices and his travel restricted by limitations including a curfew.
Ghilotti served five years in prison for seven rapes in San Rafael in the 1970s, then 12 more years following his conviction in 1986 for four rapes in Ross and Corte Madera.
Ghilotti, 51, was granted the release despite misgivings of the Marin County District Attorney’s Office and the Vacaville Police Department.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Mitchell told the court that her office hired a psychologist to evaluate Ghilotti’s suitability for discharge from the conditional release program. In the doctor’s opinion, Ghilotti, who underwent voluntary castration, was unlikely to resume sexual crimes.
“I do not agree, but my opinion is not evidence,” Mitchell said. “Absent any evidence other than the history of Mr. Ghilotti, there is no evidence I can produce that is counter to the conditional release.”
Marin Superior Court Judge Stephen Graham said under the law there was nothing he could do to block the release. He offered Vacaville police officers the opportunity to speak but said their statements would have no impact.
Although rape uses sex as the means of committing the crime, it’s not really about sex — it’s about power. I therefore have my doubts about the effects his castration will have on Ghilotti. He’s a perfect candidate for recidivism, and certainly most experts who have examined him feel that he’s a real risk.
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