Borrego Sun - Since 1949

SVPs – Here We Go Again

 

Last updated 8/3/2022 at 11:29am



Two weeks ago, Judge Gill closed the initial review of the proposed placement of SVP Martinez with the promise that he would visit Borrego Springs and view the house on Running M Road for suitability. Since then, the neighbors have hoped to see the Judge and ensure that he sees them and their children. Judge Gill said he wanted to be objective and not influenced by neighbors being present when he views the location.

Liberty Healthcare’s six-page report describing the attributes of the proposed placement were not provided to the public, even though the Liberty Executive Director, Alan Stillman, admitted that he nor any Liberty representative had been in the house. Judge Gill told the court that he would render his decision in court on July 22, but we do not know if the public will be allowed in court.

At the same time, the proposed placement for SVP Badger on 1619 Zuni Trail was proposed. That hearing is scheduled for August 5. Everyone who opposes this placement should write the court by no later than July 22. Provide your response in English or in Spanish. Judge Theodore Weathers is hearing this case and letters/emails/phone calls should be addressed to him. You can submit by email, telephone call, or by postal delivery.

Email: SDSAFE@SDSheriff.org

Call: 858-495-3619.

Mail: SVP Release/SAFE Task Force, 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, California 92123

Opposition letters/email should also be forwarded to the following five people:

- Senator Brian Jones – senator.jones@senate.ca.gov

- State Assemblyman Randy Voepel’s Chief of Staff, Gail Ramer – Gail.ramer@asm.ca.gov

- Supervisor Jim Desmond – jim.desmond@sdcounty.ca.gov

- Donna Cleary, Supervisor Desmond’s Office – donna.cleary@sdcounty.ca.gov

- Congressman Darrel Issa’s Field Representative, Christopher Mika – Christopher.mika@mail.house.gov

For those who call to voice their opposition by phone, the San Diego County Sheriff’s office will transcribe your message and print it for Judge Weathers to read. Speak in English or Spanish – the Task Force will provide a translation. Callers are advised not say anything derogatory or inflammatory to the judge – the court recommends focus on why the house on Zuni Trail and the town of Borrego Springs is not suitable for an SVP to live there. The judge needs to know why this particular house is unsuitable. Some reasons may include:

- The house is across the street from three children, two of whom have disabilities;

- Children are home schooled within ¼ mile of the proposed house;

- SVP Badger has health issues and the Borrego Clinic has limited service and no medical doctor assigned;

- Extreme heat and power outages can be deadly to an elderly man who must remain on the property;

- Lack of cell phone coverage can make it impossible for SVP Badger to call for medical assistance or emergency help.

A town hall was held on Saturday, July 16 at La Casa del Zorro, with about 85 people attending in person and on Zoom.

Several returned from vacation to attend the meeting. People from Ranchita and Rancho Bernardo attended by Zoom to voice their concerns and support for Borregans. A panel discussed the problem of this placement stressing the immediate focus on opposing these placements. Also discussed were strategies and plans for legislation going forward to oppose all placements in residential areas and other improvements in the Conditional Release Program (CONREP).

The panel included Zuni Trail resident Terrie Kellmeyer, Sarah Thompson, from KidSafe CA in Mount Helix, Senator Brian Jones District Representative, Andrew Hayes, and Congressman Darrel Issa’s Field Representative Christopher Mika, plus Sarah and Lee Rogers. Also attending were members of the Borrego Springs SVP Task Force, a small focus group, including Jon Stillman, Doug Munson, Linda Arambula, Jim Dion (by Zoom).

During the meeting, it was announced that the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF) is providing a $25,000 grant to assist the Borrego Springs SVP Task Force. Their mission is to develop strategies and communicate with judges, the District Attorney, and elected leaders to oppose SVP placements for the health and safety of Borrego Springs. The funds will be used for legal support and other uses specific to this endeavor.

Without any exception, we have found that all full and part-time community residents of Borrego Springs are strongly opposed to the placement of SVPs in our neighborhoods. While court authorities weigh the location where SVPs are proposed for placement, the court must consider public safety and should have concern for the potential of the SVP to successfully reenter society through participation in CONREP. Borregans feel that the houses on Zuni Trail and Running M Road are not locations that will support success for SVPs transitioning from life in a state hospital or prison. SVPs will live in severe isolation away from the on-going psychiatric healthcare needed for the remainder of their lives.

The proposals by Liberty Healthcare to house SVP Badger and SVP Martinez bear many similarities which are unsettling. Both are near children, some of whom have disabilities. Both houses are within a ¼ mile proximity of children who are home-schooled. The house on Zuni is within three miles of the Elementary School as “the crow flies” – and using the path that some kids ride their bikes to school.

Proposing placement in either house eschews the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) 6608.5(f); and would be a clear violation of state requirements. Liberty Healthcare did not properly vet these properties and this speaks to their CONREP success rate that only 17 SVPs “graduated” to Unconditional Release. 17 failed and were returned to custody, with 19 currently in the program and 1 of those is currently absent from his assigned location after walking outside his residence clad only in his briefs (man-panties, in current vernacular). The rate of “graduation” and successful reintegration ranks this program as the worst performing of all Conditional Release Programs in the country.

The factors which make Borrego Springs a special destination for residents and guests alike render the proposed housing in Borrego Springs unsuitable. As one of two “Dark Sky ‘’ communities in California, there are no street lights and ambient lights are kept to a minimum for night sky viewing. We are surrounded by the largest state park in California and Galleta Meadows with sculptures, attracting residents and visitors alike to view during day and night. These elements and more make Borrego Springs a destination where we deliberately “unplug” from the world.

Terrie Kellmeyer, Linda Arambula, and Alberto Fuentes and their families stated in recent television interviews that if SVP Martinez and SVP Badger are placed in their neighborhoods, they will not feel safe leaving their windows open at night. They will no longer feel comfortable letting their children play and ride their bicycles to visit family and friends between Running M Road and Zuni Trail and the Elementary School.

In past articles, we reported about SVP Martinez, but what do we know about SVP Badger? He has used many names over the years and has a history of nine convictions including one for child molestation and one for attempting to kidnap and rape a 16-year-old girl. He boasted in court to having 500 victims and, while that could be an exaggeration, we know from his ex-wife that he killed their family dog. His current schizoaffective and sexual sadism disorder diagnoses are lifetime disorders.

Although he is 79 years old, SVP Badger will always have a low threshold for urge control and has a demonstrated history of violent actions without warning. Per the San Diego District Attorney’s website, “Douglas Badger (10-24-42) is diagnosed with Sexual Sadism Disorder. Between 1959 and 1991 he was convicted of several offenses including child molestation, kidnapping, and forcible oral copulation in concert.”

Supervisor Jim Desmond advised Judge Gill in court on July 8, that the owners who purchased houses on Running M Road and Zuni Trail are committing mortgage fraud. Liberty Healthcare’s Executive Director, Alan Stillman, told the court and Supervisor Desmond in response that Liberty does not vet properties for legal issues or code violations. Can the court reasonably support placements when owners “commit mortgage and bank fraud?” That question remains to be answered and Judge Gill was asked that during the hearing on July 8.

Residents are encouraged to make their opposition known to Judge Weathers by no later than July 22. The court review date is August 5. Borregans are encouraged to attend the July 22 decision review in Judge Gill’s court at 9 a.m.

It’s not over until it’s over.

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