New hearing set for 'bolder-than-most' rapist; judge may reconsider order for release

A county prosecutor says she is on untested ground in asking a San Diego judge to change his mind about releasing a sexually violent prisoner from a state hospital for supervised release into some local community.

Attorneys were in Superior Court Judge David Gill’s courtroom Friday to set a date for arguing whether the judge is allowed, under state law, to reverse his previous decision to release Alvin Ray Quarles, dubbed the “bolder than most” rapist in the 1980s for his series of attacks on women.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto said her motion asking the judge to change his mind and keep a sexually violent predator locked up “is a new issue, unlike anything filed in the state before.”

But, Coto said, she believes Gill has as much right to change his ruling as a judge who imposes a sentence, then reconsiders and imposes a different sentence.

Deputy Public Defender Amy Hoffman said she would oppose the prosecutor’s motion and argue for Quarles’ conditional release. Attorneys return to court on March 8 to argue the matter.

Quarles’ crimes were considered particularly heinous, as he would sometimes force a woman’s husband or boyfriend to watch the rape.

He pleaded guilty in 1989 to victimizing 10 women — four of whom were raped at knifepoint — and was sentenced to 50 years in prison, with an understanding he would serve half of that. He later was determined to fit the state’s definition of a “sexually violent predator,” meaning he could be confined at a state hospital after completing his prison term.

Quarles filed a petition in 2016 for his release from Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County.

In October last year, Gill ordered Quarles released to a home in Jacumba under the supervision of Liberty CONREP, which runs a conditional release program. Coto opposed the ruling, noting Quarles had not completed a sexual predator treatment program and more than one evaluator concluded he was not fit for release.

Gill ordered a fresh psychiatric evaluation of Quarles, saying if it contained a new reason to keep the predator locked up, he would reconsider his ruling. The evaluation was recently completed. The contents are sealed, but Coto said it gave the judge “strong and clear grounds” for not releasing Quarles.

The arrangement for housing Quarles at the Jacumba home fell through, so a new home would have to be found if he is released.

Coto said, out of court, that the next court hearing is one more step in what will be a lengthy process to determine what will happen to Quarles, and that meanwhile, he remains locked up.

pauline.repard@sduniontribune.com

Twitter: @pdrepard

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