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WALNUT CREEK: A Debt Paid? Or Still Too Close?

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He’s 71, uses a walker to get around and wears an ankle monitor – but some Walnut Creek residents remain fearful Charles Christman – convicted of a string of violent sexual assaults on children in El Cerrito and San Francisco in the early 90s – still poses a threat.

And even if he doesn’t, neighbors told ABC7’s Laura Anthony, they should have been told he was being placed in their midst, among their children, and within a mile of a local school.

That decision was made by a judge in San Francisco, Anthony reported, and enacted without notification of residents living on the leafy stretch of Walnut Boulevard where Christman will now make his home.

Neighbors didn’t learn of the move until Contra Costa County Sheriff’s deputies circulated a flier bearing Christman’s image, description, and convictions. The reactions of his new neighbors were both emotional and immediate.

Some questioned why the convicted sex offender, ordered released from a Bay Point cottage formerly occupied by another convicted sex offender, Cary Verse, would be set down in Walnut Creek. A deputy district attorney told Anthony she learned of the transfer early Friday. She said that while it met legal guidelines relative to proximity to local schools, her office would be looking into seeing that Christman is relocated.

His former Bay Point landlord, however, maintains Christman has paid his debt to society and deserves to be left alone.

“My attitude is that you just leave the man alone and let him get on with his life,” Anthony Ashe told ABC7.

His new neighbors, however, appear unconvinced of Christman’s rehabilitation.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Which do you believe in? Rehabilitation or recidivism? I believe there’s such a thing as rehabilitation – but I fear the prospect of recidivism.

  2. Violent sexual assaults on children? Nope. I don’t care how much time has passed or what he has done to “rehabilitate” himself. This is not something you take a chance on. Furthermore, we have seen that Cary Verse has been trying to get close to children since he’s been released.
    Thank you for posting this guy’s photo, so we can look out for him now too.

  3. 1. I would be very unhappy if I lived in this neighborhood.

    2. Since I don’t live in this neighborhood, I’m happy that he’s not a transient as it would be much more difficult to track him. At least this way they know where he is.

    3. He allegedly has Parkinson’s. A doctor’s note regarding his mobility really should be made public to at least provide neighbors with some estimate of his ability to move around.

    4. Each convicted sex offender should be viewed on their own merits. For instance, a man who molests his own child is probably not going to snatch yours off the street. Similarly, the middle school teacher who molests a student is unlikely to randomly snatch your kid off the street. A high school coach who molests 17-year-olds is not likely to kidnap your 11-year-old child. However, this guy seems like the worst kind of sex offender out there. It would appear from news reports that he grabbed kids under 14 years of age from playgrounds. That’s some scary stuff.

  4. While I admit to some sympathy for a man who has spent time in jail and who is forced to keep moving due to the revulsion of his neighbors, I think it is clear that more supervision is required in these cases no matter what the mans age is. I can see why the neighborhood is upset.

  5. He better pray there are no incidents involving missing kids or suspicious people around kids in that area because all eyes will be on him now.

  6. Very sensitive case made even more sensitive by past failures in the county’s monitoring practices.

  7. Violent serial rapist (especially of kids) should be a capital offense. Lesser crimes should be considered case-by-case, but I think you need some path to re-integration with society. I would look to a combination of voluntary castration (I know its not a sure thing, be can’t hurt) and monitoring technology.

    If not now, then very soon, it should be feasible to force these guys to to wear sophisticated tracking devices that ALSO are aware of proximity to other people (via phones/watches or inferred from precision GPS).

    But there has got to be some room for reasonable discretion here. A 19 year old girl caught having de facto consensual sex with her 17 year old boyfriend shouldn’t be a lifetime “registered sex offender,” for example. That label should be reserved for those who truly pose a threat to the general public.

  8. Reading between the lines here I think it is clear that even the DA is not happy with the way this relocation was conducted.

  9. Something is fundamentally wrong with a society that values its depraved criminals more than innocent children. This one should never have drawn another breath, much less walk out of prison.

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