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Residents Rally Against Placing Sexual Predator In Tehama County

Tehama County continues it’s fight against the placement of a sexually violent predator. On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors joined a chorus of law enforcement agencies in declaring their opposition to the plan. 39-year-old Joshua Cooley received the diagnosis after repeated criminal sexual behavior led psychiatrists to identify a mental disorder and recommend treatment. For a number of years Cooley has been living at a state hospital, and he’s been petitioning for conditional release after hospital staff determined he’s received sufficient treatment. Cooley is from Humboldt County, and the county of origin is generally where such people are placed upon release. However, they’ve been unable to find a community willing to take him. That’s caused them to look to a location off of Highway 36 in Western Tehama County. Tehama County District Attorney Matt Rogers points out that Tehama County already has three sexually violent predators who were placed there because that’s where they lived when they committed their crimes. Cooley was already charged with sexual battery and criminal threats when he kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl. After serving a sentence, Cooley was out on parole with an ankle monitor when he was arrested by Eureka Police for giving alcohol to girls aged 12 to 17 at a party at his home, during which he had sexual contact with at least one of them. After that he was sent to a state hospital prior to being judged suitable for release in 2016. The court has been trying to find a home for him ever since. A hearing is pending in Humboldt County.