Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # M-9094: December 18, 2013
SANTA ANA – A jury determined today that serial child molester Sid Landau, 74, is a continued threat to children and the community and should remain civilly committed as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP).
Under the law, potential SVPs are subject to mental health reviews prior to completion of their criminal sentence. If the People are able to prove that the defendant meets SVP criteria, a petition is filed to have the defendant civilly committed. There are three criteria that must be met; first, the defendant must have committed a sexually violent offense. Second, he must be diagnosed with a mental disorder. Finally, it must be found that he is likely to re-offend unless he is held in custody and treated.
If a unanimous jury finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant meets the SVP criteria, the defendant is committed to a secure mental care facility for treatment until he is safe for release. Landau has been in a mental care facility since 2000. He was formally committed as an SVP after a jury found he met SVP criteria in July 2008. He is currently committed to Coalinga State Hospital.
Evidence and Testimony Presented During the Jury Trial
In 1982, Landau was convicted of molesting a 10-year-old boy and sentenced to three years in state prison. He was arrested again in 1987 for molesting a 5-year-old boy, but the case was ultimately dismissed. In 1988, Landau pleaded guilty to 18 counts of lewd acts on a child for molesting a 9-year-old boy and received 17 years in state prison. He was paroled in 1996, but only spent 15 months free over the next four years, as he continued to be re-imprisoned for extended periods of time for violating the terms of his parole. This included confessing to going to the zoo (a violation because Landau is prohibited from going to places where children are known to congregate), assaulting a camera man, and possessing teddy bears in his home, items which are lures for children. In 2000, Landau was placed in a mental hospital after his prison term expired and the People filed a Petition to have him declared an SVP.
The People presented evidence that Landau also molested additional victims besides those named in the prior criminal complaints. Beginning in 1961, Landau, then 21, molested an 8-year-old boy over the course of three years. In 1970, he molested another 8-year-old boy, and continued to do so until the boy was 15. While Landau can no longer be charged with these crimes due to the statute of limitations, this evidence was used to show his continued pattern of sexual deviance.
During Landau’s 2008 SVP trial, a doctor stated that based on the defendant’s number of known victims and rate of offenses, Landau likely had between 1,000 and 1,500 undetected molests prior to his first conviction. The People argued this same evidence in the current trial.
Landau had declined to participate in sex offender therapy while in the hospital and has recently been injecting testosterone, a side effect of which is an increased sex drive for many men.
Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Park Dietz testified in the trial and opined that Landau is likely to reoffend and molest additional young boys if released into society.
One of Landau’s former victims testified to Landau’s pattern of sexual deviance. He stated that he was repeatedly sexually abused and that Landau would sodomize the victim, despite pleas for him to stop because of the pain. The victim also testified that Landau regularly molested multiple young boys at one time in group sexual assaults.
Assistant District Attorney Dan Wagner handled this case for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder Chief of Staff Office: 714-347-8408 Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami Spokesperson Office: 714-347-8405 Cell: 714-323-4486