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On the loose 

Forty-eight-year-old former SLO County resident Anthony Francis Dacayana, four-time convicted rapist and a man described as a sexual deviant and remorseless predator, is back on the streets.

 Sgt. Sean Conroy of the Ventura Police Department said last week that Dacayana was arrested by Ventura police on January 23, when he was nabbed for failing to register as a sex offender and for possession of a controlled substance. “The latest information we have is that he is no longer in this [Ventura] area,� Conroy says.

 So, where is he?

 According to Conroy, Dacayana, who roamed the streets of San Luis Obispo last fall (New Times, “Remember this face,� November 3, 2005) recently appeared in Ventura County court, where his case was dismissed because, between the time of his arrest and the day he appeared in court, he established a place of residence. Sex offenders are legally required to register with local law enforcement agencies at least every 90 days and within five days of moving, becoming a transient or having a birthday, says Ventura County District Attorney David Lehr.

 Lehr also noted that, in accordance with Megan’s Law, the public has Internet access to detailed information about sex offenders, including places of residence. But — and here’s the catch — the database isn’t always up to date. “The guy next door to you may be a 14-time rapist,� Lehr said. “You might check and he’s not listed. You might check two weeks later and he is.�

 Lehr adds that Dacayana lived in what he considered a “nice neighborhood� in Ventura, but that 27 people in his zip code are registered sex offenders. “Sometimes, it does more harm than good to your psyche to know,� he says.

 Dacayana was a transient at the time of his arrest, but had failed to register within 30 days of his arrival in Ventura. However, he did register within the five days he established a residence. He was released from custody after the dismissal of the latest case, though the results of a test to determine the nature of the controlled substance in his possession at the time of his arrest are outstanding.

 Dacayana was convicted of four rapes, including those of a blind woman who was his friend, as well as his 13-year-old stepsister. He is described as an extremely charming man, but he was diagnosed with paraphilia, defined as one of several complex psychiatric disorders that are manifested as deviant sexual behavior. He was also deemed a sexually violent predator in accord with the Sexually Violent Predator Act, and committed to the Atascadero State Hospital after his release from prison in 1996.

  “Frankly, he is a person I believe will offend, one way or another, based upon his history,� says David Lehr, the Ventura County district attorney who prosecuted Dacayana at a trial held last June to determine if he remains a sexually violent predator. A jury decided at that time that Dacayana was no longer an SVP. He was re-examined every two years after his committal in 1996 and was kept behind bars by various juries each time.

 “As they get older, it gets harder and harder to keep them in custody because there’s a belief that the likelihood to recommit diminishes over time,� said Lehr, who doesn’t believe that’s the case with Dacayana. “Mr. Dacayana is very good at getting people to do what he wants them to do — and he’s good at convincing a jury.� ∆

Stacey Wiebe is a staff writer for the Ventura County Reporter. She can be reached through kharris@newtimesslo.com.  For information on sex offenders, access http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/.

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