After more than 20 years of forced hospitalization at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino, CA for threatening to rape, torture, and murder young boys, Cary Jay Smith, 59, was released on July 14, 2020 without having to register as a sex offender.
Smith has ties to Orange County and has been under 24/7 police surveillance since his release. Due to triggering warnings from law enforcement, Smith has been on the move since his release, hopping around Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties. His constant moving around has prompted outcries and protests from the public, demanding he be kept institutionalized and as a registered offender.
Smith 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.
According to ABC7, Lynn Vogt, the boy’s mother, says she feels fortunate that her son was never harmed but believes Smith will hurt others.
Realistically, I’d love to see him locked up but I know that’s probably not going to happen until he says or does something that shows, right now, today, that he’s a danger to people. The guy shouldn’t be roaming free. There’s just no way.
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, for rape, torture, kill.
In 1984, Smith plead guilty to a 1983 misdemeanor of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18, a conviction which triggered a lifetime sex offender registration requirement.
He also plead guilty to a 1985 misdemeanor sexual offense of soliciting lewd conduct from a minor and was again required to register as a sex offender for life. That registration requirement was removed in 2005 by the state due to a change in the statute governing that lifetime registration.
It is uncertain why Smith was not required to register as a sex offender under the 1984 conviction when he was released from the state mental hospital earlier this month.
Beginning in 1999, Smith has been 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, according to a press release from Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
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. In 2005, the state Department of Justice issued a letter stating Smith no longer had to register as a sex offender.
Constant monitoring and public opinion of Smith’s wearabouts has left Southern California angsty and seeking immediate action. The Orange County District Attorney’s office has urged California Governer Gavin Newsom’s office to reinstate a lifetime sex registrant requirement on Smith. Registration as a 290 sex offender would allow members of the public to access information about Smith’s wearabouts on California’s Megan’s Law website.
Yesterday, the OCDA’s office received word that CA State Attorney General Xavier Becerra is in agreement that Smith is required to register as a 290 sex offender under California state law.
OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer says:
Not only was this predator who has all but guaranteed he will hurt our children released, he was released without the very restrictions we fought so hard to have imposed to allow residents to protect themselves and their children from exactly these kinds of sexual predators. Instead he was allowed to move around freely without any restriction on where he lived, what he did, or who he came in contact with. Today, the children of Orange County and all of California are safer as a result of these restrictions once again being imposed.
Meanwhile, communities in Southern California are closely following Smith to ensure he does not harm others.