Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Update and News about the SVP Forecast


Last updated 8/19/2022 at 9:40am

Since our last article, many Borregans attended the August 5 Proposed Placement for Sexually Violent Predator Douglas Badger. There was a good turnout for the court review, with Borregans who arrived in person including neighbors, American Legion Commander, Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce Board members, and others, along with the support by members of “Your Voice has Power” plus over 200 attendees, including members of Kid Safe California, attending by Zoom.

Congressman Darrell Issa, California Senator Brian Jones, and San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond started the morning by arriving at 8 a.m. to talk with Borregans attending the review, followed by a press conference at 8:30 a.m.

Compared with the court review two weeks ago, most attendees came away feeling that Judge Weathers paid attention to community concerns about harm to residents posed by the proposed placement, community safety, and the unsuitability of the remote desert community for housing any Sexually Violent Predator. Additionally, whereas Judge Gill offered no concern for a private school in the immediate area, this was an issue of concern for Judge Weathers.

Judge Weathers took notes during the testimony and delivered five issues that he wants the Deputy District Attorney and Liberty Healthcare by August 19. These are:

(1) Frequent power outages brought up by Supervisor Jim Desmond, and specifically how that impacts GPS and Geolocation.

(2) CA Welfare and Institutions Code 6608.5, concerning private schooling for children within ¼ mile of the property,

(3) Case of Jonathan L, regarding private schools and the CA Department of Education, DDA, brief the issue of homeschooling.

(4) Liberty to provide information on secure fencing, and security guards on the property.

(5) Liberty provides information regarding the lack of sidewalks and public transportation.

The Case of Jonathan L. is particularly relevant to the proposed placement of SVP Badger on Zuni Trail. In an Open Letter Regarding Homeschooling Legality, written by Caitlyn Obolsky in March 2015, an attorney member of the Homeschool Association of CA:

“Homeschooling is legal in California. It is NOT a gray area. It is NOT unclear whether it is legal. The California Court of Appeals reached a definitive decision in a case which personally involved attorneys from HSC, and many other organizations, interested parties, and homeschool advocacy groups… in the end homeschooling was definitively found to be a legal and established right of parents within California… Therefore, while the local educational agency is by no means required to verify a private school affidavit, if it does so decide, once that action is taken that is where the inquiry must end.”

After the hearing on 5 August, the Borrego Springs SVP Task Force provided additional information to the District Attorney’s Office to assist in their response to Judge Weathers. In the coming week, members of the Task Force will meet with District Attorney Summer Stephan and Deputy District Attorney Espinosa concerning opposition by the community and county for the ordered placement of Sexually Violent Predator Michael Martinez on Running M Road and other topics.

To continue this opposition, a Go Fund Me was established by the SVP Task Force to cover legal and other expenses including community road signs for children at play. The SVP Task Force is seeking to raise $25,000 to match funds granted by The Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF). Over $8,000 has been raised so far! Donations are tax deductible.

Also on August 19, there will be reviews for 2 additional Sexually Violent Predators in San Diego County. Locations have not yet been proposed, and the nature of the proceedings is closed. Their names are SVP Allen James and SVP William Stafford, both of whom are listed in the Megan’s Law database.

More to follow as the results of Liberty Healthcare and Deputy District Attorney Doyle’s briefs to Judge Weathers are known.

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