EPA residents protest violent sexual predator

September 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
In East Palo Alto Tuesday night, city leaders are taking a stand against the state's decision to release a violent sexual predator there. Donald Robinson served more than two decades in prison on rape charges. Neighbors protested in front of his house Wednesday and they also voiced their concerns at City Hall.

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Lee Leavy isn't shying away from the issue he has with his grandmother's new neighbor. He wants everyone in the East Palo Alto neighborhood to know Donald Robinson, a convicted violent sexual predator, is living there.

A Santa Clara County judge ordered Robinson's release from a state mental hospital and placement into an East Palo Alto house. Robinson served 20 years for raping and beating adult women. His last victim was a senior citizen.

"My grandmother is right next door. She is 92 years old. Why would you stick the predator next to his prey?" said Leavy.

The city of East Palo Alto also wants Robinson out. Tuesday night city council passes a resolution demanding the state place him elsewhere.

"Don't stick him in the middle of a community. We just want the judge to know that we're just not going to take this sitting down," said East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica.

The community is mobilizing. Flyers are being passed out and a petition to the state is circulating through neighborhoods. In fact, many are using what happened in Antioch with convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido as reason to not take any changes with Robinson.

"I think it raises some very serious issues and concerns about how easily someone can avoid all the systems that are put in place and I think it's not worth taking a risk," said Mayor Abrica.

Many protests have been popping up in front of Robinson's houses since Thursday when he moved in. On Wednesday, the city's mayor will organize a peaceful protest in front of Robinson's house for the entire community.

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