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Man released under prison realignment law is held in rape case

April 03, 2013|By Robert J. Lopez
  • Map shows where a woman was allegedly raped by an ex-convict in Fontana.
Map shows where a woman was allegedly raped by an ex-convict in Fontana. (Google Maps )

A 32-year-old Fontana man who was released from state prison to the supervision of San Bernardino County authorities under a controversial state law has been arrested on suspicion of rape, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

Juan Francisco Aguilera allegedly was with the victim at a motel late Monday night before raping her and threatening to kill her if she she alerted authorities, the Fontana Police Department said. The motel is at 17468 Valley Boulevard.

Aguilera, whom authorities described as a gang affiliate, has previous convictions for robbery, grand theft auto, drug possession, receiving stolen property and intimidating or dissuading a victim or witness, according to police.

The department said Aguilera was released from state custody because of a state law that transfers authority over some felons from state prisons to county jails and, upon their release, from state parole to county probation departments. The law, referred to as public-safety realignment, was designed to reduce overcrowding in state prisons. 

The law, enacted in 2011, has been criticized by some local law enforcement authorities and elected officials for resulting in convicted criminals being allowed back on the streets, where they can commit new crimes.

"This is a prime example of what I have been voicing concern over," Fontana Police Chief Rod Jones said in a statement. "Unfortunately, I can only see this problem getting worse."

Fugitive Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, the primary suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl last week, also was released from prison to the supervision of authorities in Los Angeles County.

On Thursday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said no prisoners have been released early under the law. The state is legally required to reduce prison overcrowding, the agency said.

"Realignment has helped the state reduce its number of inmates by more than 24,500 while providing counties with billions of dollars in funding to adjust to this unprecedented shift," state corrections officials said in a statement.

Aguilera told San Bernardino County probation authorities that he was homeless and was allowed to wear a GPS electronic monitoring device "while roaming free on the streets of our community here in Fontana," police said.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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