Why sexually violent predators are placed in rural East County

10News questions State Dept. of Hospitals

JACUMBA, Calif. - 10News went looking for answers about why the state is placing another sexually violent predator in San Diego and why in the rural East County.

On or before Feb. 10, Mikel Marshall will be the sixth sexually violent predator (SVP) to move into the rural East County.  A judge Monday authorized the release and placement of Marshall to a home in Jacumba Hot Springs.

Marshall spent 14 years in prison for molesting young boys who were boys that he knew through their families.

10News pressed the California Department of State Hospitals about why so many wind up in the East County. It turns out there are 28 different laws that have been put into place since 1995 which determine where a SVP on a conditional release program can go.

Examples of laws include:

AB 493, by Salinas, Chapter 222, statutes of 2004, provides that a conditionally released SVP shall be returned to his/her county of domicile prior to their incarceration unless the court finds extraordinary circumstances requiring placement out of county. This bill also requires the county of domicile to assist the DMH in locating and securing housing for the conditionally released SVP’s.

SB 723, by Denham, Chapter 486, statutes of 2005, prohibits any SVP who has a history of sexual abuse against a minor and who is released under the DMH’s Conditional Release Program (CONREP) from being placed within ¼ mile of any school providing instruction to children in kindergarten through grade 12.

AB 1509, by Spitzer, Chapter 573, statutes of 2007, implements a recommendation of the California High Risk Sex Offender and SVP Task Force by defining the crime of the continuous abuse of a child as a violent felony. It provides that an inmate released on parole for this crime be prohibited from being returned to a location within 35 miles of the actual residence of a victim or witness of that felony, upon a victim or witness request.*

*California Department of State Hospitals, Forensics: FAQs

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob calls this a public safety concern. She says three of the four in her district, which includes the East County, have reoffended.

She released the following statement Monday:

"Today's decision is a big setback for the community and for public safety. While I understand that state law severely limits where sexually violent predators are housed, the fact is these placements almost always end in failure. Five of the six predators housed in San Diego County in recent years ended up violating the terms of their release. That’s a terrible track record and clear evidence that the state needs to take a hard look at how it deals with these criminals."

Print this article Back to Top