Sex offender will have new trial
Kevin Hurtado will have to convince another jury that he is no longer a danger to society.
On Wednesday El Dorado County prosecutors announced they would retry Hurtado, a convicted child molester, under the sexually violent predator law.
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 into a secured state mental facility. Hurtado’s first trial ended April 26 in a hung jury, with nine jurors voting in favor of Hurtado’s recommitment.
If the District Attorney’s Office is successful the second time around, Hurtado will have to spend the next two years in Atascadero State Hospital in San Luis Obispo County. At the end of that commitment Hurtado would be re-evaluated, and possibly sent back to South Lake Tahoe for another jury trial to determine if he would enter another two-year stay.
Hurtado was convicted in 1988 and again in 1992 of orally copulating and masturbating 10- and 11-year-old boys.
During the first commitment trial three psychologists testified that Hurtado was a pedophile. Two of the psychologists agreed with the defense’s argument. They believed that with extensive parole restrictions Hurtado likely would not reoffend.
Hurtado spent six years in prison for his convictions. For the last year, he has been in the El Dorado County Jail awaiting his first commitment trial.
Jan David Karowsky, Hurtado’s attorney, told the court he planned to file a motion requesting that Hurtado be placed in a mental health facility so that his client could undergo treatment for his pedophilia while he awaits his second trial date. The trial was tentatively set for July 27.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The reopening of U.S. Highway 50 starts 8 a.m. today for residents and property owners in preparation for its full opening 8 a.m. Tuesday.