Last year, I led the effort at the Board of Supervisors to oppose any further placements of Sexually Violent Predators in San Diego County until local jurisdictions have a seat at the table with full veto authority. This vote passed unanimously, with all Board members agreeing that San Diego County should have local control when it comes to the placement of Sexually Violent Predators. Yet, here we are again.
The State of California and Liberty Healthcare disregarded the County of San Diego’s vote and once again are looking at placing a Sexually Violent Predator in our region. This time the proposed placement is in Borrego Springs. The last time it was proposed for Rancho Bernardo. Who knows where it will be next? That is why we must stop all placements in San Diego County.
These aren’t individuals who made a mistake and are rehabilitated. A sexually violent predator is defined as an individual who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and has a diagnosed mental disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others.
In the current case, Michael Martinez is diagnosed with a Pedophilia and Personality Disorder. For 25 years he molested and committed lewd and lascivious acts upon children under 14. He was convicted in four separate cases.
On Friday, Michael Martinez will be appearing before a judge who will determine if the proposed placement is suitable. I will be using all the tools I have to make sure the judge knows that not only is Borrego Springs unsuitable, there is nowhere in San Diego County suitable for placement of this predator.
The process must change, as I believe sexually violent predators should be housed in trailers on state prison grounds, away from neighborhoods and near law enforcement and other resources suitable for criminals with these extreme conditions.
We should not allow Sexually Violent Predators to live in our rural communities with families, schools, and hiking trails present. I will do everything thing I can to stop this from happening.
San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond