Editor's Note: A statement from the Orange County sheriff was added to this story on Wednesday.
Seven sex offenders who violated parole were released from jail early as part of the Orange County Sheriff's Department reducing its inmate population during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sex offenders were released months before schedule, despite being charged with violating their parole by cutting off their GPS monitors and tampering with their tracking devices, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Public Information Officer Kimberly Edds.
California law requires sex offenders who violate their parole in this way to serve six months in jail, but many of the sex offenders who have been released during the pandemic served just days, Edds said.
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The sex offenders who have violated parole and been released since April 7 are:
-- Luis Joel Ramirez, 27, of Costa Mesa, who has a history of sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a peace officer, burglary and possessing a leaded cane, a deadly weapon, and has violated his parole four times since 2019.
-- James Franklin Bowling, 50, of Orange, who has a history of lewd conduct in a public place, repeated convictions for failing to register as a sex offender, repeated convictions for being a sex offender on school grounds, possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia, and has violated parole twice since February.
-- Rudy William Grajeda Magdaleno, 39, of Anaheim, who has a history of child molestation, indecent exposure, assault, battery, criminal threats, and inflicting injury on an elder adult, and has violated parole five times since 2017.
-- Calvin Curtis Coleman, 52, of Santa Ana, who has a history of lewd conduct in a public place and has violated parole three times since 2019.
-- Kyle Albert Winton, 40, of Mission Viejo, who has a history of child molestation, criminal threats to cause great bodily injury or death, resisting a peace officer, DUI and hit and run with property damage, and has violated parole once.
-- Jose Adrian Oregel, 46, of Santa Ana, who has a history of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, oral copulation of a person under the age of 18, great bodily injury, and being a second striker, and has violated parole six times since June.
-- Mario Ernesto Sandoval, 45, of Stanton, who has a history of sexual battery, touching for sexual arousal, indecent exposure, assault on a peace officer and assault, and has violated parole once this year.
All seven sex offenders were released between April 7 and April 22, according to Edds.
"These kinds of high-risk sex offenders are the most dangerous kind of criminal and the most likely to re-offend. They are doing everything they can to avoid detection by the parole officers assigned to monitor them so they can potentially commit additional sex offenses. These are not the kind of people who should be getting a break,'' said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
"As a state legislator, I was the author and founder of the State of California Sex Offender Management Board and the author of Megan's Law on the Internet, which allows the public to see where these sex offenders are so that they can protect themselves and their families."
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes announced Tuesday that he had reduced the Orange County jail system's population by about 45% since March 7.
Barnes released the following statement Wednesday:
“It has been incorrectly reported in the media that my Department authorized the recent releases of seven registered sex offenders from Orange County Jail. That is inaccurate. These inmates were released by Court order, and are not in any way connected to the measures I have taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Orange County Jail. We have responsibly created the capacity needed in the jail to house sex offenders and other dangerous criminals. I oppose efforts that excuse criminal behavior and jeopardize the safety of our community.”