Convicted rapist and child molester temporarily ordered to live in Joshua Tree community

A convicted rapist and child molester may soon be permanently relocated to the community of Joshua Tree in San Bernardino County.

A Ventura County judge on Sept. 19 tentatively ordered Ross Leo Wollschlager to live at a home in Joshua Tree. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and the District's Attorney's Office oppose this relocation saying they "strongly object to Joshua Tree being a dumping site for a sexual predator with no connections to our country."

Wollschlager was deemed a Sexually Violent Predator after several assaults in the 1980s in Ventura County. According to authorities, Wollschlager was charged with four counts of rape and convicted of two counts of rape through a plea agreement in 1983. In 1987, he was paroled after serving his sentence, but while on parole, the Sheriff's Office says, Wollschlager sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl while she slept in her bed at her family's home.

Wollschlager went back to prison and later was committed to the Department of State Hospitals for treatment.

On Jan. 31, the Ventura County Superior Court ordered Liberty Healthcare to assist in Wollschlager's conditional release and by late March, the courts found "extraordinary circumstances" existed to relocate Wollschlager outside of Ventura County, according to authorities.

The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department says that after an unsuccessful attempt to relocate Wollschlager to Sacramento County, Ventura County Superior Court ordered Liberty Healthcare look at other counties were Wollschlager could be relocated -- among them San Bernardino County.

In response to Wollschlager's relocation to San Bernardino County, the Sheriff's Department will send deputies from the Sexually Violent Predator Unit to Ventura County on Nov. 7 to oppose Wollschlager's release to the community of Joshua Tree.

A community meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 a.m. at the Sportsman’s Club located at 6225 Sunburst Avenue in Joshua Tree for anyone interested or concerned.