SANTA ANA, Calif.—A California jury on Wednesday rejected a request to free a 74-year-old man who acknowledged molesting 10 boys and spent decades in prisons and mental hospitals.

The panel in Orange County found that Sidney Landau is still a sexually violent predator and should remain at a state mental hospital in Coalinga where he's been held since 2000, City News Service reported.

The trial was held after Landau petitioned the court to be released, claiming he was no a longer a sexually violent predator.

Prosecutor Dan Wagner argued that Landau should remain in custody because he had refused psychological counseling for pedophilia and was receiving regular testosterone injections.

Landau was convicted of molesting two boys in the 1980s and acknowledged abusing 10. The prosecutor said Landau spent only 15 months free over the next 25 years because of parole violations.

Sara Ross, Landau's public defender, conceded that Landau had committed "awful" crimes in the past but argued he no longer was a public risk.

Landau began molesting boys as young as 8 in the 1960s and finally was arrested in 1981, authorities said.

He took nude photos and had sex with the children, whom he courted by taking them to Disneyland or swimming, camping and boating, Wagner said.

Landau also plied victims with marijuana and alcohol at his Anaheim home, which was stocked with stuffed animals and video games, the prosecutor said.

Landau was convicted in 1982 and 1988 for molesting two boys under age 14 and was one of the first sex offenders to be targeted in California by Megan's Law, which allows law enforcement to provide notification when high-risk sex offenders move into neighborhoods.

Landau served time in prisons and state mental hospitals for molestation and for parole violations. He was committed to the Coalinga hospital after a jury concluded that he was a sexually violent predator.

In 2010, a state psychologist concluded he could be safely released under supervision because of his age and Landau petitioned for his release.

An Orange County judge last year granted Landau a new trial to decide if he should be released.