Responding to community outcry, judge blocks sexually violent predator’s proposed release into Menifee neighborhood
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif., — Responding to input from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, Menifee Police Department, and most importantly, members of the Sun City community in Menifee, a judge on Friday blocked the proposed release of 69-year-old Lawrence Moff, a convicted sexually violent predator (SVP), into their community.
According to Menifee PD, in 1978, Moff was charged with child molestation, sexual perversion, and sodomy in Los Angeles County. In that case, Moff was alleged to have molested two young boys, ages 7 and 8, on several occasions after meeting the boys after befriending their parents at an LA County church. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of child molestation and was sentenced to prison.
After his eventual release, Moff was again convicted in January 1997 of committing lewd and lascivious acts with another child in Riverside County. In that case, Moff was said to again have befriended the parents of a 9-year-old boy at a Riverside County area church. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison for that offense.
After hearing opening comments made by the District Attorney’s Office, several members of the Sun City community addressed the Honorable Matthew Perantoni, providing “compelling testimony describing their fears for the children that live and frequent Sun City if SVP Moff were to be released into their neighborhood,” Menifee PD explained after Friday’s hearing.
The community members’ testimony was followed by testimony, statistics, and further information provided by the Menifee Police Department.
After listening to those attending the hearing, including testimony provided by Moff’s attorney, Perantoni denied Moff’s proposed release, which was to occur at an assisted living facility located in the 26000 block of Fountain Bleu, in Menifee. The release recommendation was made by the California Department of State Hospital’s designee, Liberty Healthcare, according to officials.
Following the blocked release, Menifee Police Department Chief of Police, Ed Varso said, “I am extremely pleased that Lawrence Moff will not be released in our community.”
“Thank you to District Attorney Mike Hestrin who attended community meetings and led the legal effort to challenge the proposed release,” Varso continued. “Thank you to the members of the Menifee Police Department and our community members who worked tirelessly together to stop this bad recommendation from becoming reality.”
“Lawrence Moff would have jeopardized the safety of our families and is not welcome here,” the Chief added.
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Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.