Borrego Sun - Since 1949

SVP – Update, Disappointment, Cause for Hope

 

Last updated 8/8/2022 at 1:27pm



On Friday July 22, without any other input, Judge David Gill settled on the placement of Sexual Violent Predator Michael Martinez on Running M Road in Borrego Springs by no later than September 9.

This announcement came as neighbors returned to the San Diego County Superior Court for the scheduled review of SVP Martinez, but were not allowed to enter.

Clerks, the Defense Attorney, and several people bustled in and out of the courtroom doors while Borrego Springs residents waited outside. It became apparent that residents weren’t being allowed inside anytime soon. We could guess that the delay might have been for the judge’s private session consideration of new evidence that Senator (38th District) Brian Jones and San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond’s offices had helped us deliver to the Clerk of Court on July 21.

We stopped a clerk and Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle and requested entry. The main purpose was for our attorney to make a brief presentation of the new evidence about private schooling that should be critical to the decision expected by Judge Gill. The clerk and DDA Doyle disappeared, with the clerk coming back about 10 minutes later to let us know we would be allowed in.

That happened at 10:10 am.

Attendees were greeted by Judge Gill stating he appreciated the long distance they traveled to the court, then began a lengthy praise of Liberty’s services and successes including how well they monitor SVPs. Judge Gill told those of us in the court twice that he is 88 years old and the longest serving judge. Judge Gill continued his praise of Liberty Healthcare’s performance in managing CONREP placements without incidents. Judge Gill stated several times that he was inclined to approve the placement but might give some time, 30 to 45 days, for Liberty Healthcare to resolve mortgage issues of the owners and code violations reported by Supervisor Desmond.

Liberty Healthcare told Judge Gill that he could be assured they (Liberty) could take care of it in 30 days. When asked, the San Diego County District Attorney’s representative offered no objection. This is when Judge Gill settled on the placement of SVP Martinez in Borrego Springs on Running M Road.

The placement is scheduled to take place, but we aren’t finished with the issues. The absentee landlords have multiple mortgages with Rocket Mortgage. As far as we and Supervisor Desmond’s office have learned, Rocket was unaware of the mortgage fraud or code violations. Mortgage companies like Rocket Mortgage usually intend to sell the loan documents for a profit – usually 115% to 120% of the value of the mortgage. They sell the mortgages to lenders in the Midwest who pay the higher amount because of the money they will in turn make on interest. So Rocket Mortgage usually does not check to see if the house is owner occupied as required by the loan signed, even if the borrower got a better rate than they should have. By not following the requirements of the mortgage, the borrowers are participating in mortgage or bank fraud.

It does not stop there. A Court Review is scheduled for August 5, Friday at 9 a.m., regarding the proposed placement of SVP Douglas Badger in a house on Zuni Trail. Please attend in person if you can. If you cannot attend in person, a Zoom link will be provided by Supervisor Desmond’s office. But please keep in mind that what Judge Theodore M. Weathers sees in his courtroom will impress him the most!

Our bottom line is that neither house on Running M or Zuni Trail are suitable to house Sexually Violent Predators due to the proximity to private and public schools and people who fit the SVPs’ victim profiles. Judges and Liberty Healthcare do nothing to promote rehabilitation by placing SVP’s near anyone who is like a past victim.

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