SACRAMENTO -- A Santa Clara judge determined that Dariel Shazier, a convicted violent sex offender, will make Del Paso Heights his home.
Despite the community rallying with hundreds of signatures and letters opposing the move to Sacramento County, the judge ruled Tuesday that Del Paso Heights was a good fit.
“If he were placed in Placer County, he would stand out as an African American but if he were placed in Del Paso Heights, he would blend in," said Dr. Gina Warren with the Neighborhood Wellness Foundation. “For them to be OK with him blending in tells us even more so how much they value our community."
Now, Sacramento police, sheriff and county leaders are united in their stance against the decision. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said Del Paso Heights is the wrong place for Shazier.
“Fifty-five percent of the folks from this particular neighborhood are single moms, which means that their kids are oftentimes unsupervised because their moms work,” DA Schubert said.
“There's really no nexus for him here and then in particular, putting him in that area where there's so many schools and children and fragileness in the community in a lot of respects is terrible,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
Del Paso Heights residents and community leaders, along with city and county officials, argued that Shazier should be released back to Santa Clara County where he committed his crimes.
Shazier served 17 years in prison for drugging and raping multiple teenage boys.
“He has zero, zero connection to Sacramento,” Schubert said. “Do I worry he's going to re-offend? Absolutely, absolutely worried about that."
Schubert said she is now vowing to try to reverse the judge's decision.
“Whether it's an appeal, whether it's what we call a writ, whether it's an injunction,” she told FOX40. “If we prosecute somebody, we send them to prison. They come from our community, it's our responsibility to take ownership of them. I may not want a sex offender coming back but the way that people succeed on release is by having support and that's not here."
“We will do everything we can to work hand in hand with our community to ensure that the community is safe,” said Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn.
“I hope he never offends again,” Sheriff Jones said. “I think we can all hope for the best but I think it'd be naive for us not to plan for the worst."