East Bay News

DA appeals release of violent sexual predator into Bay Point

Thursday, March 07, 2013

There's a new push to stop a violent sexual predator from being released into an East Bay community. Charles Christman is a high risk sex offender who has served time for sex crimes against children. The 69-year-old is expected to be released from state prison any day now to live near an elementary school in Bay Point.

Many neighbors just found out Wednesday that Christman could be living here by the end of the week. He's a man with a long history of crimes against children, and it puts these neighbors in a predicament they've been in before.

Frances Garcia wasn't expecting a visit from the sheriff's office, letting her know that she may be getting a new neighbor.

Sheriff's deputies are going door-to-door, alerting neighbors that Christman, a seven time sex offender with a history of molesting young boys, may soon be moving to a cottage in Bay Point.

"We know that nobody wants him in their community and we know they have to put him somewhere but we just wish it wasn't so close to the school," Garcia said.

The principal of Willow Creek Elementary, Lynne Plunkett, is not pleased," I have 107 students that need to walk past that area to get to and from school," she said.

She testified in court to try to stop it, under a state law that prohibits a child predator from living within a quarter mile of a school.

"What do you know, Willow Cove Elementary is less than one quarter mile away," Deputy District Attorney Derek Butts said. "The issue is, how do you measure that quarter mile?"

Deputy DA Butts says as the crow flies, it's well under a quarter mile. But the court measured it along the street. He's filed an appeal.

"I'm basically fighting for the residents of that community, and the children that go to Willow Cove Elementary School," Butts said.

It's a battle that's all too familiar for neighbors.

Years ago Carey Verse, also branded a sexually violent predator, lived at the same cottage, behind Anthony Ashe's law office.

"Both my wife and I do criminal defense work," property owner Anthony Ashe said. "If we didn't believe in giving people second chances, it would be really difficult to do that type of work."

Ashe says with Verse now back in society and gainfully employed, he's done his research on Christman and feels he's not a threat.

"He's physically infirm," Ashe said. "He has not offended since 1989, 25 years, a quarter of a century ago, and he did go through all of the training."

Christman has about sixteen pages of conditions he has to adhere to, including GPS monitoring, random searches, and frequent check-ins with the sheriff's office.

But the DA's appeal is still pending, and he's asked the court to stay Christman's release until that appeal has a chance to be heard.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
contra costa county, bay point, sex crimes, sex offender, children, violence, east bay news, jonathan bloom
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