Watch CBS News

Convicted Sex Offender, Former OC Man Faces Possible Release From State Psychiatric Hospital

SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) -- A former Orange County man and convicted sex offender is expected to be released from a state psychiatric hospital on Saturday.

cary smith

For 21 years, Lynn Rinner has been fighting to keep Cary Smith locked up to protect her young son after a letter, allegedly written by Smith about her then-7-year-old ended up in the hands of Costa Mesa police.

The journal entry — which fantasizes about kidnapping and sexually abusing the boy — didn't rise to the level of a crime, but it did help convict the man, who faced multiple counts of molestation in the early 2000s.

"I've been told that he hasn't had the therapy and counseling over last six months that he's had over last 21 years," Rinner said. "Without that they don't have record of threats or scary statements that he's made."

Rinner says that, be law, a patient in a mental health institution can be released if there is nothing of concern on record over the previous six months that would prove the person is a danger to himself or others.

The Department of State Hospitals said it is against federal and state law to acknowledge if a person is or has ever been a patient at a state hospital, but "during the COVID-19 pandemic, psychiatrists continue to provide treatment to DSH patients across its system both by videoconference and in-person with appropriate precautionary measures taken."

Knowing about his past, Rinner said she worries about what Smith could do.

"My son is a full grown adult, but this guy is still talking about molesting 7-year-old boys. So my son is safe, but other people's aren't," she said.

The county doesn't yet have information on where Smith will go once he is released, but he is legally required to report his new address to officials before his release.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.