Protests at Coalinga State Hospital place building on lockdown for several days

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Patients protesting at a Coalinga Psychiatric Hospital put the facility on lockdown over the weekend. (KFSN)

Patients protesting at a Coalinga Psychiatric Hospital put the facility on lockdown over the weekend and it has stayed that way since.

Most of the state hospital patients are violent sexual predators who officials say went on a rampage after learning some of their electronics would be confiscated and internet access denied.

A notification on the hospital's website reads 'Coalinga remains under lockdown until further notice for safety and security reasons.'

The visiting center is closed and phone calls are directed to a social worker.

The district attorney's office says some patients were using these electronics throughout the hospital to access child pornography, an ongoing problem at the facility, which has sparked an ongoing investigation.

"In my office, Ms. Smittcamp takes child pornography and all sexual assault very seriously, the problem with child pornography is that it's a continual victimization of the child," said Assistant District Attorney Steve Wright.

They say since September of 2016 they have filed charges in about 24 cases involving possession of child porn by patients there.

"Of those 24 cases that have been filed, I think we've had, so far, four cases that have... gone to convictions and there are 18 still pending resolution," said Wright.

No one was injured in the protests and the Department of State hospitals has not returned comment about any damage caused.
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