Borrego Sun - Since 1949

SVP Comes to Borrego

 

Last updated 4/5/2023 at 12:42pm



Judge Theodore Weathers issued his decision on March 24 to allow the placement of Sexually Violent Predator Douglas Badger in the house on Zuni Trail in Borrego Springs. Sexually Violent Predator Badger is slated to be transferred to the house on Zuni Trail in Borrego Springs in May. The house has known code violations which are not resolved and should render the property unsuitable until repairs are executed. This is an example of why Liberty Healthcare and the State to find better housing solutions.

During the last court hearing, the Public Defender raised concerns about the validity of the school and Dr. Terrie Kellmeyer and her children’s residence. The Public Defender reported that she has multiple rental properties and the Public Defender attempted to persuade the Judge that Dr. Kellmeyer and her children lived at her business address.

The District Attorney did not provide sufficient assistance to allow Dr. Kellmeyer and her attorney to counter. In essence, Dr. Kellmeyer was treated as a party to the case without the opportunity to present information to the contrary provided by the Public Defender.

Support the request by Senator Brian Jones for the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to approve an audit of the contract between the CA Department of State Hospitals and Liberty Healthcare. The link is provided below.

We are especially saddened by this decision.

This is also not the first SVP placed in Borrego Springs.

On July 22, 2022, Judge David Gill approved the placement of Sexual Violent Predator Michael Martinez on Running M Road. This came a day after Judge Gill had visited the home.

Judge Gill had stated in court that he felt comfortable releasing SVP Martinez into the house on Running M Road because the community was “so involved.”

However, SVP Martinez’s most recent release was in 2018, to a property on a 40-acre parcel in Boulevard, CA. After escaping the property through three locked gates over private property, SVP Martinez was returned to custody in the State Hospital. Following his return to custody, SVP Martinez admitted that he had lied to authorities.

Borrego Springs has been fighting to prevent the placement of SVPs, however, have gone unheard.

In 2021, Borrego protested against the placement of SVP Merle Wakefield at the home on 1575 Yaqui Road.

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For background, two years ago Liberty Healthcare had proposed placement of two Sexually Violent Predators in a Mount Helix property. Per discussion with District Attorney Summer Stephan, prior to 2021 Liberty Healthcare had resisted placement of more than one SVP at a location. The Mount Helix proposal was a house and casita – despite zoning problems for the casita. SVP Badger and SVP Merle Wakefield were proposed for the location. SVP Martinez was the next SVP in line for SVP Conditional Release Program (CONREP) participation, but was not proposed for placement there.

Liberty Healthcare is allowed to propose properties to place SVPs in residential neighborhoods without consulting with counties. District Attorney Summer Stephen told our Borrego Spring SVP Task Force that a committee was to be established in January 2023 and that this committee would be able to have a voice in proposed placement locations.

Per the CA Sex Offender Management Board Report of August 2019, “Transient” Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) live in a variety of situations without direct supervision. RSO’s differ greatly from Sexually Violent Predators, who receive the designation from a jury and are convicted of multiple sexually violent crimes often involving weapons. Their victims are brutalized physically, mentally and emotionally. Because Liberty Healthcare is required to monitor SVPs who participate in the Conditional Release Program (CONREP), the type of housing is not a requirement of the program.

As it stands today, Liberty Healthcare has proposed SVP housing on golf courses, in multi-bedroom homes adjacent to school bus stops, and in trailers. We have ascertained that the type of housing is not relevant, but have a ruling from the Cheek Case that SVPs who harmed children per CA WIC 6608.5(f) may not be housed in any manner within a quarter mile of private or public schools.

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