D-Day of SVP


Last updated 7/12/2022 at 9:18am

The Town Hall was attended by more than 75 people who participated in a discussion about the upcoming Proposed Placement with Donna Cleary and Kristal Zabara, senior staff members of San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond’s office. This was not a defeated group in attendance – there was enthusiasm and united opposition to the proposed placement of Sexually Violent Predator Michael Martinez on Running M Road. The placement hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 8 in the San Diego County Courthouse in downtown San Diego.

Following are highlights of the Town Hall:

The SVP proposed placement process is flawed at the state level. No input from the county is considered – including vetting the neighborhood for proximity to children in the predator’s victim profile.

Children of the same ages whom SVP Martinez committed lewd acts against live in houses next door and across the street. Vulnerable elderly residents are also threatened by the potential placement.

The house proposed is not suitable for any SVP with diagnosed pedophilia because of the proximity to children being educated with ¼ mile.

Exacerbating factors:

- No privacy fences and no street lights.

- Children routinely play, ride bicycles and walk on dirt paths between the streets.

- County Sheriff response time for emergency calls is often 2 hours.

Supervisor Desmond will present more than 300 letters from local residents and a petition with several hundred signatures from local residents who do not have access to the internet or reliable access to phones.

During the meeting, Donna and Kristal provided good insights they have had from dealing with a recent placement proposal at Pala, which was defeated, as well as other proposed placements they have worked to stop. Donna and Kristal came prepared with aerial photos and a plot map that demonstrate the close proximity of the house to homes where children live. They encouraged everyone to prepare comments and think in terms of this specific placement when addressing Judge David Gill.

After the meeting, there were several ad hoc meetings with our Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Françoise Rhodes, and Chamber President Clint Brandin and his wife, Chamber Board Member Carol Brandin, as well as several of the Running M Road neighbors.

Borrego High School Principal Victoria Baay, a resident on Running M Road with small children, is coordinating with the school board and school superintendent, Mark Stevens, to provide a bus to take people to the Superior Court in San Diego. Neighbors on Running M are requesting to speak in court with Judge Gill, to present new information about the inappropriateness of the placement.

Another Running M Road neighbor, Jon Stillman, has engaged an attorney, Mark Rogers, and had a preliminary meeting with Judge Gill last week.

From that meeting, Judge Gill agreed to allow Mark Rogers to speak in court on July 8, during the hearing. Mark and Jon are speaking with people in the De Anza Desert Club and Ranchita neighborhoods who were involved in the proposed placements of SVP Merle Wakefield and SVP Martinez last year.

On July 1, San Diego County Supervisors Nathan Fletcher and Jim Desmond held a press meeting to announce the county’s formal opposition to this and all SVP placements until the process that exists is followed and the county obtains veto authority for proposed housing.

As it stands, the house on Running M Road was not vetted at all by the county. Supervisors Fletcher and Desmond agreed with residents that due to the proximity of children and children being educated within ¼ mile of the house, that this is an inappropriate placement proposal.

KUSI, NBC, and other television and radio news carriers covered this press conference.