North Bay residents packed a community meeting Thursday to oppose the release of a high-risk convicted sex offender into their neighborhood.
People who live in the Willotta neighborhood in unincorporated Fairfield asked questions and raised concerns at the meeting, held by the Solano County Sheriff's Office.
Fraisure Smith, who was convicted in 2006 and served a prison term for assault with intent to commit rape, has filed a petition with Solano County Superior Court to be released at a residence on Willotta Drive, sheriff's officials said.
Resident Cheri Turpen told the packed room at the Clayton Fire Station about how her sister survived a rape and the trauma it caused her family. She said Smith's pending release into her community is emotional.
"It brings up feelings of panic, grief, anger and fear," Turpen said. "Our family and many others have had our loved ones and our lives violently altered."
Smith's convictions date back to the 1980s. He served his entire sentence for his most recent conviction of assault with intent to commit a sex crime in 2006.
"We just don't want him there, and sure, I feel for my safety," resident Martha Khamashta said. "We have no street lights."
The issue on where to place sex offenders is becoming a big issue. Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ruled that San Diego County's ban on where sex offenders can live is unconstitutional.
"How many other neighborhoods have gone to court because perpetrators have moved into their neighborhoods as well?" resident Gina Corsi asked at the meeting.
Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara said the community is doing the right thing in voicing their concerns.
"I think the judge is going to take into consideration what they have to say, absolutely," Ferrara said. "Will it make a difference? I hope so."
Smith is currently at Coalinga State Hospital. A public hearing regarding the Department of State Hospitals' placement recommendation is scheduled for March 24 in Solano County Superior Court.
Bay City News Service contributed to this report.