Apr 18, 2016 1:12 PM by News Staff
The clock is ticking for Butte County law enforcement.
They're waging a public campaign to try and stop a violent sexual predator from moving to Chico.
Fraisure Smith has found a man who is willing to let him be a renter, much to the anger of that landlord's neighbors.
“This guy poses a significant to public safety,” said Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea.
This guy is Fraisure Earl Smith, a man deemed sexually violent by the State of California, yet, safe enough for outpatient treatment, monitored by an ankle bracelet.
Prior offenses indicate smith prefers teen girls
He was cruising by a library and accosted a young teenage girl so this appears to be his MO,” said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
Listed on Megan's Law monitoring system, the 52-year-old served time in state prison for multiple sexual offenses including forcible rape. He was released in 2010 to the custody of Coalinga State Hospital in 2013, he petitioned the Solano County court for release.
Last fall smith got his wish. He was released as a 'transient,' he is now monitored by state contractor liberty healthcare.
“(The) state hospital system that's set up for these sexually violent predators is filling up, so there's obviously a pressure to get them out of the system because the beds are getting full,” Ramsey said.
That release hasn't been easy. Smith has been rejected by more than 4,000 potential places to live. Public outcry has forced many landlords to rescind their invitations until now.
Offering $3,500 a month of taxpayer money for anyone willing to house the predator. The state has finally found a taker and he lives in Chico.
Neighbors say Jeff Rassmussen is a divorced grandfather and a small business owner.
They say Rasmussen already has one renter with a 10 year old girl and they're outraged.
“I was shocked, afraid worried,” said Alene Bemis, Rassmussen’s next door neighbor. “He has children and grandchildren that are here a lot.”
Bemis says when she found out smith was moving next door, she confronted Rassmussen.
“You renting to a sexually violent predator and he walked away from me,” Bemis said.
Sheriff Honea said if Smith moves in, he'll be the only sexually violent predator in Butte County.
“His prior MO suggests he hunts within his community,” he said. “I wouldn't put him on an ankle monitor, I don't think that's the appropriate use of an ankle monitor.”
“We'd rather not have him here, this is a Solano problem and the sheriff and I think the problem should be dealt with in Solano,” Ramsey said.
Bell Road is an idyllic, tree-lined street neighbors said Rasmussen has been reclusive the last few months, not answering his door.
He has been fixing up this structure on the back of his property. Less than a tenth of a mile down Bell Road, there's an equestrian center, where children come to learn to ride horses.
Local law enforcement has launched a very public campaign to try to stop smith from calling Butte County home. They’re directing anyone with concerns to go to the sheriff's website, and voice their opposition.
“That's very important to me because I’m filing a motion down in Solano County and I need to have as many people who can express their concerns as we can so I’m not in front of a judge saying the sheriff and I are upset, no it's the community that doesn't want him here,” Honea said.
“Well he has to live somewhere, I agree, in Coalinga State Hospital where he won't be a threat to public safety,” Ramsey said. “He shouldn't be posing a risk to the citizens of Butte County.”
Rassmussen didn't return our call for comment.
A court hearing is scheduled for May 10 at the Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield.
Sheriff Honea and District Attorney Ramsey will go and voice their opposition to the plan then.