PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A California federal appeals court in has ruled prosecutors must go to trial or release a convicted rapist who has waited almost nine years to be freed after serving a 20-year sentence.
In an opinion filed Wednesday, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel wrote Bobby Joe Knight was expected to be released in 2004, but the state filed a civil petition saying he is likely to rape again.
The state's petition never went to trial because between 2004 and 2009 Knight's lawyer repeatedly sought delays, while Knight repeatedly requested new representation.
Knight filed complaints himself asking for freedom
It's legal under state law to detain prior sex offenders indefinitely if it's proven through trial that they will likely commit sex crimes again due to a mental disorder.
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