Neighbors of Convicted Molester Feel Like Guinea Pigs

Neighbors of David Chambless say his release is a test of the Sexually Violent Predator release program

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7's Steven Luke reports on the unconditional release of David Chambless and how community members were reacting to the news.

    Descanso residents say they feel like guinea pigs after a San Diego judge approved the unconditional release of a man who no longer meets the classification of a sexually violent predator.

    Marked by a school bus bench, Garwood Road is a street with about a dozen families who are now worried about safety and property values.

    Convicted molester David Chambless, 53, lives in a home on Garwood Road but up until now, he was monitored by law enforcement and by employees of a court-appointed firm.

    Sexually Violent Predator's Release Draws Ire

    [DGO] Sexually Violent Predator's Release Draws Ire in Descanso
    A sexually violent predator was granted unconditional release on July 15, 2014. And that has many in Descanso upset and scared for the safety of children, as NBC 7's Liberty Zabala.

    On Tuesday, San Diego Judge David Gill approved Chambless' unconditional release after evidence was presented from three doctors that Chambless no longer meets the criteria of a sexually violent predator.

    Louise Laff lives in the home she built with her husband. It’s the home where she raised three boys.

    Sexually Violent Predator Asks for Release

    [DGO] Sexually Violent Predator Asks for Release
    Residents sit in on a hearing that will decide if David Chambless is given unconditional release.

    "My boys just ran through these hills. The family on the corner has seven kids, that's why we live here so you could not have to have fences and gates and go play, and it can’t happen anymore," Laff said.

    Chambliss is one of just five men listed on the county's sexually violent predator page. He's one of two who have completed the program, his attorney told the judge.

    Convicted of molesting a 7 and 9 year old girl nearly 20 years ago, he served his time in prison and hospitals and according to three separate mental health experts is now rehabilitated.

    Because prosecutors could not provide evidence to the contrary, Judge Gill granted his unconditional release

    "Mr. Chambless has undergone close to six years of supervision," his attorney Michael Ruiz said. "Mr. Chambless has been put to the test numerous times and each time he has shown us that he's capable of being a responsible citizen.

    "At this point in his life, it's time for Mr. Chambless to be a free man." 

    Laff and her neighbors feel like guinea pigs. She believes in the justice system. She just can't believe a man now free to move to whichever community he chooses chose the home across the street.

    She and her neighbors hope he continues to stay to himself.

    Chambless will still have to register as a sex offender with the Sheriff's Department for the rest of his life and will have to update his place of residence every 90 days.

    As for the families on this street - they say the days of kids walking to the bus stop alone are over.