Pedophile Who Sought Castration Is Released

The release of a convicted child molester who claims to have undergone voluntary castration so he wouldn't molest again is causing alarm and sparking outrage in San Antonio.

On Tuesday, after serving eight years of a 20-year sentence, because of time served and good behavior, Larry Don McQuay left prison for a work-release facility.

The 41-year-old former school bus driver had confessed to sexually abusing more than 200 children.

When asked in a 1996 prison interview what it was like to be a bus driver in San Antonio with 60 kids riding in seats behind him, McQuay told ABC News' Mike von Fremd, "It was frustrating 'cause I wanted to have sex with 'em and I couldn't have sex with all of 'em."

ABC News interviewed McQuay in prison after his conviction, when he shocked correction officials by volunteering to be surgically castrated.

"I see a sex object," McQuay said about what he thinks when he sees children. "I hate the things that I do. I'm just scared that it's going to happen. That's why I want to get the surgery."

Castrated?

Because of his request, Texas passed a law permitting inmates to have surgical castration on a voluntary basis.

It still is unclear if McQuay ever had the procedure. His lawyer says he did.

"This man told us when he was too dangerous to be released," said Paul C. Looney, McQuay's attorney. "Now, he tells us that through additional therapy, though the surgical castration procedure, that he's ready."

One expert suggested castration can make a difference for criminals like McQuay.

"There is good medical evidence showing that castration can be very effective in lowering the recidivism rate of sexual offenders," said Dr. Fred Berlin, a forensic psychologist at Johns Hopkins University.

But many disagree about whether a castrated sex offender is safe to allow back in the community.

"We do not know," said Dianne Clements, president of the Houston-based criminal justice reform organization Justice For All. "The likelihood that he will molest and murder is very real."

Ankle Bracelet

McQuay will be forced to wear an electronic ankle bracelet, and Texas officials promise McQuay will be tightly monitored by parole officers for the next 11 years. But critics of ankle bracelets — including McQuay's attorney, who favors McQuay's release — say the monitoring devices are unreliable.

"Ankle bracelets are as close to worthless as they can be," Looney said. "All they are is a placebo for the public."

Many in San Antonio are horrified to learn McQuay will now be living in their city.

"I think it's putting our community in danger," one woman said. "I think he needs to be locked up."

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