MERCED -- Repeat sex offender Cary Verse plans to move from San Jose to MercedCounty soon, but he would not confirm where or when.
The district attorney and sheriff said they received notification Thursday of Verse's pending move to the county, and both said they were looking at ways to block his arrival.
"We've got enough of our own perverts. We don't need somebody else's," District Attorney Gordon Spencer said.
In a news release titled "Serial high-risk sex offender will be sent to MercedCounty despite no local ties to the community," Spencer said he would address the move during a news conference at today.
Spencer said Verse's move to Merced could come as early as next week.
Verse is one of three sex offenders released by the state in the past year after completing a rehabilitation program at AtascaderoStateHospital.
He was convicted of four sexual offenses from 1988 to 1992. In 1990, he fondled a teenage boy while holding a knife to the boy's neck. He later assaulted a man in a homeless shelter. The offenses took place in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Verse spent six years in prison, then six years at the state hospital.
He settled in a San Jose motel in March, after public outcries forced him to leave Oakland and MillValley.
Conditions of Verse's release include "chemical castration" through the injection of a hormone into his arm. The process inhibits his sex drive, state Department of Mental Health spokeswoman Lynda Frost said.
Verse is required to carry a global positioning system device that tracks his every move. He is subject to random visits and polygraph tests by state officials.
Verse claims to be changed
Since he went to prison, he became a Jehovah's Witness, and says he is a changed man.
"I was 21 when I committed my last criminal offense. I'm 33 now. A lot has changed," he said in a phone interview Thursday.
Verse said he does not know where he will stay in MercedCounty or whom he will turn to for help in the community. He said it is likely he will start by finding a church that will accept him.
Liberty Healthcare, a health corporation, monitors Verse and the two other sex offenders released by the state. Verse receives an allowance from the company and works with Liberty to plan his moves.
"God's gotten me through a lot of this. I've made a lot of friends, and we're doing the best we can to find something that's decent," he said.
Verse was arrested June 17 in San Jose because he failed to reregister his address with authorities on time. He is required to register his location with law enforcement every 90 days.
Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu said charges were not filed against Verse for the violation because of confusion about when he was supposed to call authorities.
She was unfamiliar with plans to move Verse to Merced, but said she had heard talk of his leaving San Jose soon. She said he has kept up with the conditions of his release.
"He has done everything possible to stay in compliance," Sinunu said.
Sheriff not happy with plan
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said Liberty Healthcare informed his office of its intentions to move Verse to Merced. Pazin said he will meet with Liberty officials in Fresno today.
"They just dropped this big bomb on us this afternoon," Pazin said. "I just don't think MercedCounty is the place for this type of person to be."
Liberty Healthcare did not return calls for comment.
MercedCounty has 653 registered sex offenders, three of whom are deemed "high risk" like Verse, according to the state attorney general's office.
Spencer said he is skeptical that Verse is rehabilitated.
"I don't like that MercedCounty may be endangered while we are waiting to see if he truly has reformed," he said.
He also said Verse should return to the community where he last committed his crimes -- Richmond -- instead of coming to Merced.
Assembly Bill 493, working its way through the Legislature, would require released offenders to take up residence in their home communities.
Frost, of the state Department of Mental Health, said such a requirement would relieve some of the confusion surrounding the release of sex offenders like Verse.
AB 493 passed the Assembly last year and is awaiting a hearing in a Senate committee.
Frost conceded that the release of the three offenders has not been easy, but said Verse has lived up to his responsibilities.
"He has abided by every condition of the terms and conditions of his release," she said.
Convicted sex offender Cary Verse appeared in a ContraCostaCounty court in Martinez Wednesday morning for a placement hearing.
Most of the session was held in private and Verse and his attorney said after court that they could not discuss how long he would continue to stay at the Mission Motel in San Jose, where he has been living since March 16.
Verse said he was happy to able to return to the motel after he was recently arrested on suspicion he had not registered with authorities as sexual offender, which he is required to do every 90 days.
Verse spent four days in jail until Santa ClaraCounty prosecutors decided Monday not to press charges against him, based on evidence that Verse had verbally notified authorities that his room number at the motel had changed.
"I am very happy to be able to go back to my normal life," Verse said.
His normal life consists mainly of church activities, he said.
Verse does not have a job and he said most of the relationships he's developed since his release in February from Atascadero's Sexually Violent Predator Program, are with Jehovah's Witnesses.
"They've been very supportive," Verse said.
Verse, who was clutching a book of scriptures, said he was "born into and raised as a Jehovah's Witness." He began practicing religion again about eight or nine years ago and was baptized last year, he said.
"God has been keeping me strong," he said. "I can't complain."
Verse is scheduled to appear in court for another placement review hearing on July 1.