SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley is petitioning the California Supreme Court to prevent a sexually violent predator from being released into Santa Barbara County as a transient.

Dudley has fought for more than 20 months to keep Tibor Karsai locked up even though he served his 30-year sentence for raping a 16-year old Placer County girl in 1980.

Dudley has argued that releasing Karsai as a transient in the county will endanger the public. However, an appellate court disagreed recently and ordered that Karsai be released. Dudley wants that decision overturned and Karsai remain in custody in a mental hospital until the California Supreme Court has made its decision. Dudley's office made that request on Friday and a ruling is not expected for at least 30 days.

Watch NewsChannel 3 for the latest on this developing story.