A man once deemed a "sexually violent predator" who's been on monitored release in Santa Barbara County since 2013 was released Wednesday morning with no more supervision.
Tibor Karsai, 64, was determined to be a sexually violent predator in 1998 after serving prison time for forcible rape. Once released from prison, he was placed on conditional release since 2013.
On Wednesday morning, prosecutor John Mackinnon and defense attorney Brian Carroll submitted all their reports regarding Karsai's mental health evaluation from Liberty Healthcare, the state hospital and a private psychologist hired by the District Attorney's Office.
The four doctors included in the reports rendered the same unanimous finding -- that Karsai no longer meets the criteria of a sexually violent predator and is fit to be released with no more supervision.
Mackinnon on Wednesday noted that doctors found that Karsai made significant progress over the last five years, and the applicable standard created by the state Legislature to have sexually violent predators remain on conditional release only applies to those who are at high risk of reoffending.
While Karsai remains a risk compared to the general public, based on his psychological reports, he no longer meets the criteria of being a serious risk.
"The [prosecution] has done their best to check every box for this matter, and will submit it to the court for the final decision," said Mackinnon, adding that he conferred with all public safety officials and the district attorney, who agreed that having a jury trial to prove that Karsai is a serious risk is "frivolous at this point."
After reading the reports, Judge Gustavo Lavayen said he "had no choice," but to lift Karsai's supervision, after acknowledging that Karsai had immersed himself in treatment programs since being released from prison, followed all rules placed upon his conditional release into the county and has had no violations the last five years.
Since being on conditional release, Karsai maintained regular employment, lived on a ranch outside of Santa Maria and his progress toward reintegrating into society has been remarkable, according to his file.
Absence of any evidence he will reoffend, "we must release him unsupervised," Lavayen said, "as he no longer [represents] a danger to the community."
Karsai was convicted of raping a 19-year-old woman in Santa Barbara County in 1974 and received an eight-year sentence for that crime. He was paroled in 1980, and later that same year, he was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl in Auburn. Karsai was sentenced to 26 years in that case.
He was deemed a "sexually violent predator" by Placer County officials in 1998, who later recommended he be released within Santa Barbara County, his last place of residency.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney tried to fight his release, while at the same time, backed the extended supervision recommended by Liberty Healthcare.
Upon first arriving in Santa Barbara County after being released by Placer County officials, Karsai was supervised by Liberty Healthcare and a community safety team around-the-clock. His supervision was reduced over the years as Karsai made progress during his conditional release program.
Doctors first deemed Karsai fit to be released with no more supervision in July 2018.
While Karsai no longer will be monitored, he still is ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life with the county of his residence, as required by law.