Hurtado faces new jury
Kevin Hurtado is again sitting behind the defense table. This time facing 12 new faces who have the power to decide whether or not he will leave El Dorado County a free man.
A convicted child molester, Hurtado is being tried for the second time under the sexually violent predator act. The law allows counties to civilly commit former sex offenders – who are classified as sexually violent predators by a judge or jury – for periods of at least two years in a secured state mental facility.
Hurtado was convicted in 1988 and again in 1992 of orally copulating and masturbating 10- and 11-year-old boys. He spent six years in prison for his convictions, and currently more than a year in the El Dorado County Jail awaiting his commitment trials. The first trial ended April 26 in a hung jury, with nine of the 12 jurors voting in favor of Hurtado’s recommitment.
During the first trial, jurors heard the testimony of three psychologists and Hurtado himself. It was up to the jurors to determine if Hurtado was likely to reoffend if released.
On Tuesday, a new panel of jurors listened to a third day of testimony on the statistical likelihood of Hurtado’s success or failure. The trial is scheduled to last 12 days.
If this new jury finds Hurtado a sexually violent predator, he will spend the next two years receiving treatment at Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo County. Near the end of that commitment Hurtado would be revaluated, and possibly sent back to South Lake Tahoe for another jury trial to determine if he would enter another two-year commitment. If released Hurtado would return to Alameda County, his last residence, for the remaining two years of his parole.
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