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SBSD - Headquarters
Thursday November 7th, 2019 :: 02:31 p.m. PST

Advisory

Judge rules sexually violent predator, Ross Leo Wollschlager, will not be released to live in Joshua Tree

Judge rules sexually violent predator will not be released to live in Joshua Tree

On November 7, 2019, prosecutors from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office accompanied by a group of local representatives attended the relocation hearing for Ross Leo Wollschlager - a sexually violent predator. Wollschlager was convicted of a series of sexual assaults committed against women and children in Ventura County. On September 19, 2019, a Ventura County Superior Court judge ordered Wollschlager to be housed in Joshua Tree.

Local officials from San Bernardino County worked jointly to oppose the effort to relocate this sexually violent predator into our community. Sheriff McMahon, District Attorney Anderson and Supervisor Rowe met with local officials and hundreds of concerned citizens. The Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station assessed the potential threat and the effects housing Wollschlager would have on our law enforcement resources. Additionally, hundreds of citizens emailed their opposition to Wollschlager’s relocation and these were presented to the judge.

The willingness of our elected officials to assist with the process was greatly appreciated and contributed to a successful outcome. Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe helped spearhead community efforts to oppose the relocation and after the hearing said, “I’m pleased with the judge’s ruling. It demonstrates that when a community comes together over a common cause, we can truly make a difference.” Additionally, State Senator Grove’s letter of opposition and outreach coupled with local support from the city councils of 29 Palms and Yucca Valley painted a picture of the negative effects this relocation would have on the residents of the Morongo Basin.

Sheriff McMahon thanks the District Attorney team for their effort. The expert preparation and litigation by Deputy District Attorneys Maureen O’Connell and Dan Ross was pivotal to our community’s case. He also thanks Judge Ayers for her willingness to listen to the concerns of our community and deciding San Bernardino County should not bear the burden of housing Wollschlager who has consistently demonstrated his ability to commit violence toward women and children.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department remains committed to our law enforcement and community partnerships and overall safety of our residents.
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October 17, 2019 -
San Bernardino County officials have been notified that a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) from Ventura County may be ordered to live in Joshua Tree. This person, Ross Leo Wollschlager, has no ties to San Bernardino County and his crimes were committed in Ventura County. Wollschlager committed multiple rapes and child molestation. In 1983, Wollschlager was charged with four counts of rape and subsequently convicted of two counts of rape through a plea agreement. After serving his sentence, he was paroled in 1987.
While on parole, Wollschlager sexually assaulted a child, a 10-year-old girl asleep in her bed in her family’s home. Wollschlager was returned to state prison and later formally declared a Sexually Violent Predator under the state Welfare & Institutions Code in Ventura County and committed to the Department of State Hospitals for treatment.
On January 31, 2019, the Ventura County Superior Court ordered Liberty Healthcare to assist in the conditional release of Wollschlager into the community. On March 28, 2019, the Ventura County Superior Court found “extraordinary circumstances” existed to authorize relocating Wollschlager outside of Ventura County. He was first scheduled to be sent to Sacramento County. After unsuccessfully attempting to relocate Wollschlager to Sacramento County, the Ventura County Superior Court ordered Liberty Healthcare to consider additional counties, including San Bernardino County.
On September 19, 2019, the Ventura County Superior Court tentatively ordered Wollschlager to live at a residence in Joshua Tree. San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson, Sheriff John McMahon, and other county officials strongly object to this Sexually Violent Predator being ordered to live in Joshua Tree. District Attorney Anderson has ordered deputies of his own SVP Unit to go to Ventura County on November 7 and oppose Wollschlager’s release to our community.

Those interested, are encouraged to attend a community meeting on Monday, October 21 at 5:30pm, at The Sportsman’s Club 6225 Sunburst Ave Joshua Tree, CA 92252

You may email concerns and opinions to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department at paffairs@sbcsd.org or send a letter to: San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office 303 West 3rd Street, 6th Floor San Bernardino, CA 92415-0502 Attn: Deputy District Attorney Maureen O’Connell

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