San Bernardino County law enforcement fighting release of sex offender in Joshua Tree

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Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Sex offender Ross Leo Wollschlager is set to be released and live in Joshua Tree after serving nearly 14 years behind bars for rape and molesting a 10-year-old girl.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- San Bernardino County law enforcement is sounding the alarm over a repeat violent sexual predator set to be released in the community of Joshua Tree.

Ross Leo Wollschlager, 56, is a sex offender out of Ventura County. He is set to be released from a state mental hospital after serving nearly 14 years behind bars for rape and molesting a 10-year-old girl as she slept.

A Ventura County judge determined there to be extraordinary circumstances which allowed for Wollschlager to be placed outside Ventura County.

"We do not believe the record is sufficient to find extraordinary circumstances to place that sexually violent predator in our community," said San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson.

The San Bernardino County district attorney and Sheriff John McMahon have joined forces opposing the move.

"For us to be burdened with the additional workload trying to protect our citizens from an individual that has a pattern and practice of re-offending, raping women and molesting young children - that is not good for our county, it's not good for our deputy sheriffs that have the responsibility of protecting our citizens," McMahon said.

Deputies notified residents about their potential new neighbor last week.

"I just think the area has come a long way and this is not what we need in the area and it poses a risk for everybody," said Alessandro Colageli.

Anderson is sending officials from his office to fight the order during a hearing on Nov. 7 in Ventura County. He and McMahon are also encouraging Joshua Tree residents to reach out to the Ventura courthouse or send concerns to paffairs@sbcsd.ord which will be delivered to Ventura County officials.

On Monday at 5:30 p.m., a community meeting will be held at Sportsman's Club on 6225 Sunburst Ave. in Joshua Tree.