Apr 24, 2016 8:54 PM by Debbie Cobb
Victory for Chico citizens fighting to keep a violent sexual predator and convicted rapist out of their neighborhood. Residents in the West Chico neighborhood of Bell Road joined forces to fight the move and they learned Sunday, their efforts paid off. Leading the push to keep convicted rapist Fraisure Earl Smith out of Chico was District Attorney Mike Ramsey and Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea. Residents living next to the home where Smith would have lived then posted big signs of Smiths impending arrival. It was those signs that ultimately were the final straw that broke Jeff Rasmussen, the owner of the home where Smith would have lived. Rasmussen has now rescinded his offer to allow Smith to live at the home. Rasmussen had been offered $3,500 a month from the California Department of State Hospitals to house Smith.
Ramsey says keeping him out was a joint effort and he is pleased with the outcome, "It pleases both Sheriff Honea and I that the community rose up in solidarity against a problem from another county being dumped in our backyard. It was very gratifying to see the comments and solidarity in not just the neighborhood but Butte County as a whole.
The woman who posted the signs, Alene Bemis spoke witih Action News Now this afternoon about the news that Fraisure Smith would not be located next door to her and she was elated, "I'm so relieved and I am just relieved to be over all this insanity."
Smith is diagnosed as a sexually violent predator by California's Department of State Hospitals. His diagnosis stands. Smith was sentenced to prison in 2006 for rape and assault in Solano County. A meeting was scheduled for Sunday night at 6pm to discuss plans to transfer Smith" to Chico. The meeting was held, but was more celebratory in nature.
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