Chemical Castration Controversy

On Monday's “DaySide,” we'll be covering — in addition to the breaking news of the day — the following controversy:

A few days ago, a San Jose judge ruled that Brian DeVries (search), California's first sexually violent offender to spend a year of strict monitoring under a state-mandated treatment program, is now free to live where he wishes without supervision and therapy. The 45-year-old convicted serial child molester, who is expected to move to Washington state to live with his family, voluntarily underwent surgical castration in 2001 to control his sex drive and showed no arousal to deviant pornography during a yearlong battery of psychological and physical tests.

Ultimately, the judge said, he agreed with several experts that DeVries "is not likely to re-offend in a sexually violent way. I agree that he is not a danger to the public." DeVries, who has admitted to molesting some 30 young boys, according to testimony, was committed to the Sexually Violent Predator program in Atascadero in 1997 after serving an eight-year prison sentence for assaulting a San Jose boy.

Washington Gov. Gary Locke accused the judge of allowing California abandon its responsibility to monitor DeVries, and his new neighbors are concerned.

DeVries was first convicted — and treated — for molesting boys in 1978. He left a New Hampshire hospital convinced he was cured, but, he says he later realized he had "all the pedophile-type thinking intact." The treatment didn't stick — he molested children again — and again and again.

He served four years in prison for his last victim, then went to Atascadero. Eventually, he embraced the treatment — unlike the vast majority of the inmates. DeVries says his turning point came in November 1998, after he agreed to begin the treatment at Atascadero. He received his first shot of Lupron, a testosterone-reducing drug he says took away his fantasies about children and his desire to molest.

Now that you know a little about Brian DeVries — and chemical castration — what do you think of the judge's decision to free him? There is not much research about whether chemical castration permanently eliminates a violent sex offender's impulses; Brian is essentially a test case.

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Watch "DaySide with Linda Vester" weekdays at 1 p.m. ET