Beverly White, Edwin Calderon
District Attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami explains why officials are concerned that convicted sex offender Dennis McDaniel is set to be released. The 55-year-old was ordered in June 1999 to register as a sex offender for life, but DA officials say he has yet to do so. Beverly White reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Aug. 31, 2012
A warning has been issued to the public that a convicted sex offender who has repeatedly failed to register in the Orange County database is set to be released.
The warning comes after a jury determined Dennis Craig McDaniel, 55, did not meet the criteria of a sexually violent predator and thus eligible for release, according to a statement released by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Friday afternoon.
"The OCDA believes McDaniel poses a danger to the community based on his numerous sexual crimes of a predatory nature, repeated failure to register as a sex offender, and multiple parole violations indicating that he in (sic) incapable of following the law," the statement read.
He is described as a white man, 5-feet-9-inches tall, weighing about 250 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.
Though McDaniel is no longer on parole, he will be required to register as a sex offender within five days of his release and be listed on the Megan’s Law website, which lists the names and locations of registered sex offenders in California.
More: Megan’s Law Q&A
A jury decided on Friday that McDaniel – who has expressed plans to move to a residential treatment facility in Fort Worth, Texas – was eligible for release.
The OC DA requested a motion for a new trial, arguing that evidence was not made available to the jury. That evidence was excluded from the trial because the cases were dismissed or resolved for lesser non-sexual convictions, the DA said.
In order for McDaniel to remain behind bars, a unanimous jury must have found beyond a reasonable doubt that he met three criteria of a sexually violent predator:
The OC DA contends that McDaniel continues to pose a threat to the public as evidenced by his lengthy criminal history, including multiple arrests for alleged crimes dating back to 1976, when he was convicted of indecent exposure and ordered for the first time to register as a sex offender.
The OC DA released the following list (PDF) of McDaniel’s run-ins with law enforcement:
In November 2008, the DA filed a petition to have McDaniel tried as a sexually violent predator. McDaniel was sent to Coalinga State Hospital to await trial.
"Since being committed at Coalinga State Hospital, the respondent has refused to participate in self-help programming or seek therapy or counseling," the DA’s office said.
The OC DA says during McDaniel’s trial, two independent mental health expert evaluators testified that he has multiple mental disorders – including anti-social personality and paraphilia NOS – and scored higher than 99.1 percent of other similar sex offenders regarding his likelihood to reoffend.
A lifetime sex offender registration in Orange County bars the registered from entering County recreational areas and City parks that have passed the Sex Offender Ordinance, with the exception of Irvine.
The Child Safety Zone Ordinance is active in the following OC cities: Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, La Habra, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Westminster and Yorba Linda.