Despite significant pushback from the former sheriff, district attorney, and other local officials, sexually violent predator Eldridge Chaney Jr. from Monterey County was placed in Yuba County in 2017 as part of his transition back into society.
His stay in a District 10 house on Ellis Road has been relatively quiet, though a few local residents have expressed concerns recently after reports of him being seen around town. Yuba County Sheriff Wendell Anderson said despite the fact that Chaney’s presence in the community is clearly unwanted and against the will of Yuba County residents, he is here as part of his rehabilitation to become a member of society.
“Thus far he has been compliant with all laws related to his status as a sex offender. Liberty Health (a company contracted with by the state) continues to monitor his daily activity,” Anderson said. “Detectives tasked with his registration will continue to monitor his status and ensure that he meets all legal requirements. Chaney has been compliant each and every time he has been contacted by members of the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.”
On Aug. 7, local business Premier Driving School posted on social media that Chaney had made an appointment with the business and that no information had been given about his background or situation. The business wasn’t made aware of who Chaney was until they became suspicious and Googled him.
“This has us very concerned and angry that no one was forthcoming with any information prior to him getting in one of our vehicles with a female instructor. We would like to make the public aware of what is happening in our community,” the business’ social media post read.
However, local law enforcement’s hands are tied on the issue, as Liberty Healthcare is in charge of overseeing Chaney’s supervision, and there are no restrictions on where he can go, though the two entities keep in contact regarding Chaney’s status and plans.
“He is not on any type of probation or parole so, therefore, we don’t have any real authority or control over him. However, we are aware of his presence in the county and we are in contact with Liberty Health who are contracted to monitor him,” said Yuba County Undersheriff Nick Morawcznski.
Chaney spent more than a decade in prison for criminal convictions involving rape, sexual assault and assault to commit rape before going through a rehabilitation program at a state mental hospital. In 2014, he was deemed by a hospital psychologist as ready to be conditionally released back into society under 24/7 supervision. When he arrived in the area at the end of May 2017, he was under 24/7 double-shift supervision.
That supervision ramped down to one armed guard by the end of August 2017 along with times throughout the day when he would be left alone – though he was being tracked by an ankle monitor.
“He is monitored, both in-person and electronically, Morawcznski said. “If there is anything they deem worthy of notifying the sheriff’s office, then we will absolutely follow up on the information.”
Morawcznski said the department is not aware of how long Chaney will remain in the area as part of his rehabilitation. His understanding is that Chaney himself doesn’t wish to remain here, but the situation is dictated by his supervision at Liberty Health.
“We are well aware of all sexually violent predators and registrants in our county and make every effort to keep tabs on their location, whereabouts and compliance,” he said.
To see a list and map of sexual predators in the area, visit www.meganslaw.ca.gov.