The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. announced this week that a former child molester may soon move in to the area.
In accordance with Megan’s Law, which requires authorities to inform residents of possible sex offenders in the area, officials notified locals that Kenneth Rasmuson, who spent more than 10 years in prison for sexual assault, may soon return to the county following his release from prison.
Rasmuson was conditionally released from Atascadero State Mental Hospital into Santa Barbara County, which is the last legal county in which he resided.
Rasmuson received his first conviction in 1981 after he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy. He was sent to a California state prison and was admitted to Atascadero State Mental Hospital after serving his prison sentence. Rasmuson was released in 1985 and convicted again two years later for kidnapping and conducting lewd and lascivious acts on a 3-year-old child. He was charged with 17 years in prison. After Rasmuson was granted parole in 1996, he was admitted again at Atascadero State Mental Hospital.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dept. spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney said officials have yet to release the specific whereabouts of Rasmuson.
The State Dept. of Mental Health will supervise Rasmuson through local provider Liberty Healthcare. State Dept. spokesperson Nancy Kincaid said Liberty Healthcare will help Rasmuson meet the terms and conditions of his release.
Raney said the Sheriff’s Dept. is notifying the public of this release for safety reasons.
“The Sheriff’s Dept. is taking a lead to inform the public, to notify them about this release, to help them protect their families,” Raney said.
With regards to Megan’s Law, Raney said he believes it is a good resource for people to find out about potential sex offenders residing in their areas.
“Megan’s Law is an excellent tool for the public to be informed about sex offenders that may be living in their communities,” he said.
Through Megan’s Law, information about sexual predators is made available to the public, but according to the Sheriff’s Dept., it is unlawful to use this information to illegally discriminate or harass a registered sex offender.
Kincaid said Rasmuson will need to adhere to strict rules as part of his conditional release. She said that most likely Rasmuson will have to find an acceptable housing unit and register as a sex offender in whichever county he chooses to reside in.
Additional restrictions placed on sexual offenders like Rasmuson, Kincaid said, can include GPS tracking devices, unannounced polygraph testing, random searches of property and drug testing. More information is available at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov.