SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel are issuing a warning to county residents regarding the release of a dangerous sex offender from a state mental hospital after more than twenty years of forced hospitalization. County officials are urging Governor Gavin Newsom to intervene in the release of this dangerous predator, and to reinstate the requirement that he register as a sex offender.
Cary Jay Smith, 59, was sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino in 1999 on a 72-hour psychiatric hold after his wife provided a psychiatrist with a letter in which Smith described sex acts he wanted to perform on a 7-year-old boy who lived in his Costa Mesa neighborhood.
Since 1999, Smith has continued to be held by the state under a section of the state’s Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) as a result of a series of civil trials which have determined that he presents a “demonstrated danger of inflicting substantial physical harm” to children. Under WIC 5300, Smith is allowed a new trial every six months to demonstrate that he is no longer a danger to society.
During those hearings, Smith has repeatedly testified that he fantasizes about raping and then killing young boys in order to avoid being identified. He claims that he has killed three boys and molested 200. He prefers to go by the name Mr. RTK, which stands for rape, torture, kill.
Psychologists have testified over the years that Smith posed an imminent danger and County Counsel has argued to keep Smith confined. The state hospital did not renew the 5300 hold against Smith, allowing it to expire on Saturday, July 11, 2020.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office, which is not a party to the civil hold on Smith, filed 20 felony counts of a lewd and lascivious act with a minor against Smith in 2002, but prosecutors were forced to dismiss those charges due to the statute of limitations of the law at the time.
Smith plead guilty to a 1985 misdemeanor sexual offense involving a child and was required to register as a sex offender. That registration requirement was removed in 2005, and Chairwoman Steel and District Attorney Spitzer are urging the governor to reinstate the registration requirement.
Following his release from Coalinga State Hospital, Smith is anticipated to return to Orange County, where he used to live and continues to have ties to the Orange County community.
“This sexual predator has repeatedly testified under oath that he will re-offend if he is released and we should believe him,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “As a state legislator, I was the author and founder of the State of California Sex Offender Management Board and the author of Megan’s Law on the Internet, which allows the public to see where these sex offenders are so that they can protect themselves and their families.
The public has an absolute right to know that he is coming back into our community, and we will do everything we can to prevent another child from being harmed.”
“After over 20 years in confinement, Coalinga State Hospital has released Cary Jay Smith, a child sex offender from Orange County, back into our community. Smith, an unstable individual, has openly made threats to rape and murder children and has stated that he would reoffend upon his release,” said Chairwoman Steel. “The fact that he is being released back into our community is unconscionable. We must take this threat to our community very seriously and ensure that everyone in Orange County is aware of this individual’s grave threat to our children.”
WARNING: Do not contact, confront, or attempt to apprehend.
The purpose of the release of the information is to allow members of the public to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders. (Penal Code section 290.45 (a)(2)) Any use of this information other than for the stated purpose is unlawful.