Sid Landau Suffers Another Setback in Bid to End Sexually Violent Predator Status

Categories: Court, Crime-iny
Sexual predator Sid Landau tried for years through the courts to be freed from a state mental institution on grounds he had not committed a crime against children in three decades, but at every turn the Orange County District Attorney's office thwarted the 71-year-old. Now, a three-justice panel at the California Court of Appeals in Santa Ana has rejected Landau's latest bid for freedom.

Landau won a three-year prison sentence after being convicted in 1982 of molesting a 10-year-old Anaheim boy. In 1988, he pleaded guilty to molesting a 9-year-old boy and was sentenced to 17 years in the joint. He served eight years before being paroled in 1996, but he was back in and out of lockup through 1999 for parole violations. Prosecutors in 2000 got Landau declared a sexually violent predator (SVP), which sent him to Atascadero State Mental Hospital.

By that time, Landau had long served as Orange County's poster boy for Megan's Law, the name for laws around the country that provide details about sex offenders in the wake of the 1994 rape and murder of seven-year-old Megan Kanka in New Jersey. While Landau was out of custody, the Placentia Police Department released his name and address, and he was then hounded from residence to residence.

Landau sued in federal court, claiming Placentia cops violated his right to privacy. He lost. At two parole violation trials, juries deadlocked in favor of his release, voting 11-1 and 8-4 respectively. That prompted a third trial in March 2008 previewed by former Weekly contributor Alex Brant-Zawadzki:

Pedo File: Sid Landau

Landau was committed the following year to the Coalinga State Hospital for an indefinite period as a SVP. In 2010, a state psychologist concluded Landau could be safely returned to society under supervision because of his age and Landau petitioned for his release. Coalinga's director disagreed with the doctor's assessment, and a judge rejected Landau's request as frivolous.

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