Thomas Pollacci

Thomas Pollacci appears by video at a hearing.

In June, two days before he was scheduled to be released from Salinas Valley State Prison at the end of an eight-year sentence, Thomas Pollacci learned he would face another hearing before walking free. He was transported to Monterey County Jail in anticipation of a hearing on a petition filed by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office on whether Pollacci would be declared a sexually violent predator. If he had been, he would have been sent to the Department of State Hospitals facility in Coalinga for an indeterminate period of time. 

That hearing did not happen, and it never will. Pollacci was found dead in his cell early in the morning of Friday, Aug. 6, according to a spokesperson for the Monterey County Sheriff's Department. Suicide is suspected, but an investigation into his death is underway. 

Pollacci went to prison on charges connected to two rapes, but court records show that 14 victims over 28 years said he had assaulted them in attacks that began in 1992 and continued until 2008, when Pollacci was arrested. 

If he had been designated as a sexually violent predator, he would have had the ability to petition annually for release, or potentially be recommended to be released for outpatient treatment. He may also have spent an indefinite period in custody with the Department of State Hospitals. 

Sara Rubin loves long public meetings, red pens and reading (on newsprint). She has been editor of the Monterey County Weekly since 2016, and has been on staff since 2010.

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