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Officials want to stop release of repeat sex offender in Stanislaus County

Stanislaus County officials want to stop release of sexually violent predator
Stanislaus County officials want to stop release of sexually violent predator 03:04

STANISLAUS COUNTY - A sexual predator with 50 years of criminal acts, many of them against children, could be released in Stanislaus County.

Kevin Scott Gray has a criminal history of sex crimes against children going back to 1974, when he was 22. Now 72, he's admitted to molesting up to 50 children and exposing himself to girls younger than 11 more than 1,000 times.

The search is ongoing in Stanislaus County for a home where he can live that is away from schools and parks, but officials are trying to stop his release and say he still poses a threat to the public.

According to officials, he could live near Turlock city limits. No set place has been decided yet, but regardless, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office has submitted motions to stop this repeat offender's release.

Parents in the area don't want him around either.

"Drastic measures need to be taken," Mari Krough said.

Krogh lives in Turlock with her daughter and was shocked to learn about Gray's potential release back into society.

"I think it's terrifying and we also don't know his inclinations for more violence," she said.

Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse shared similar thoughts.

"I think this is horrible," Dirkse said. "It's really an abomination of justice that this guy is going to be released into our community or potentially released into our community."

Sheriff Dirkse feels that if Gray is released, it's a failure by the state.

"This guy should stay in custody, quite frankly, until he's dead," he said.

According to court documents, third-party health care facility Liberty Health recommended Gray be released back into society, and just one month later, a Stanislaus County judge granted that release based on Liberty Health's report.

We reached out to Liberty Health for comment, but they did not get back to us for this story.

However, the Department of State Hospitals evaluated Gray three times since 2020 and said, "He remains a danger to the health and safety of others...He is likely to engage in future predatory sexually violent criminal behavior."

The district attorney's office filed a motion to stop his early release. His court date is set for July 1, 2024, in Modesto. Some elected officials are trying to stop this before it happens again.

"It's not new but we are continuing to try because we have seen our bills continuously rejected in Senate Public Safety," State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil said.

Senator Alvarado-Gil represents Stanislaus County and said she's tried to introduce legislation like the Safe Act, which would give state doctors the final say on predator releases.

"Why does it take a legislative act to protect our community from some of the most harmful, sick individuals? That's the question," she said.

The bi-partisan bill is currently collecting signatures. She hopes that it could end up on the November 2026 ballot instead of it being at the mercy of a committee.

If you're a Stanislaus County resident, you can email and voice your opinion on Gray's release into the community. The emails will be forwarded to the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office.

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