PALMDALE — Demonstrators gathered Tuesday afternoon outside Daisy Gibson Elementary School to protest the proposed placement of sexually violent predator Calvin Grassmier in the Sun Village/Littlerock community after a judge blocked his placement in La Crescenta last month.
“We are not the ‘LA County Dumping Ground.’ … We will fight this, until we the people win,” organizer Vladimir Gomez said.
The protest was scheduled to run about three hours. About 50 people showed up for the first part of the protest. The protesters included Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer.
The nonprofit Strength Based Community Change, or SBCC, set up a table with preprinted letters to Supervisor Kathryn Barger led by activist and community volunteer Erika Schwerdt.
“SBCC has several families as part of our community groups within walking distance of the proposed location. We heard the call to action to stand with our network community partners and residents and oppose the placement of this convicted sexually violent predator in our Antelope Valley,” Schwerdt said. “We will help be part of the voice that includes others like our local school Boards, local, county, and state elected officials, parents, teens and the AV as a whole. We do not want this person in our Antelope Valley.”
Community volunteer Shirley Harriman agreed.
“Placing a (sexually violent predator) in a small unincorporated community where resources are limited, including law enforcement, is a sure recipe for disaster,” Harriman said. “Every resident of The Rock, The Pear, The Lake, The Sun and Llano and in between needs to vigorously oppose this madness.”
A second protest is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the corner of 90th Street East and Palmdale Boulevard.
“This Saturday the fight continues against sexual predators moving to our community,” Gomez said. “This sexual predator cannot live close to (Littlerock) High or Daisy Gibson. Our children/students’ safety comes first.”
Grassmier was convicted of sexual assaults in the 1970s and 1980s, the last of which occurred in 1988. None of the offenses involved minors, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Grassmier was committed to the Department of State Hospitals as a sexually violent predator in August 1999 and held in a secure hospital for treatment, according to the District Attorney’s office. Last November the Los Angeles County Superior Court ordered the conditional release of Grassmier.
“He has progressed through treatment in a confined hospital and it was determined that he is now at a level where he can be treated in the community under supervision,” the District Attorney said
The California Department of State Hospitals recommended the placement of Grassmier at 10320 East Ave. Q-10, which is about one mile away from Daisy Gibson Elementary School and less than a quarter mile from Littlerock High School.
A placement hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Sept. 1 in Dept. 203 of the Hollywood Courthouse, 5925 Hollywood Blvd.
Individuals seeking to attend the placement hearing should check the Los Angeles Superior Court website as COVID conditions are subject to change.
The district attorney’s office agreed to accept public comments about the proposed placement, which will be submitted to the court. All comments will be shared with the court, Grassmier’s counsel, and the Department of State Hospitals.
Comments will be accepted through Aug. 10. Email SVP@da.lacounty.gov to submit a comment.