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Judge considering placement of sexually violent predator in Jacumba Hot Springs

Posted at 10:58 AM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 15:00:26-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A judge is expected to decide whether to release a sexually violent predator into the Jacumba Hot Springs area.

Joseph Bocklett, a convicted repeat sex offender, had a placement hearing Monday morning. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, it was held virtually. ABC 10News wasn’t given permission to record it, but we did monitor what happened inside of the courtroom.

The Department of State Hospitals wants to put the 75-year-old Bocklett in a home in Jacumba -- after a Judge denied a proposal to move him into a home in Pauma Valley.

Bocklett was convicted of three sexual offenses over a 19-year period involving victims between the ages of 4 and 9, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. He was last sentenced in 2000 to a 17-year prison term and later civilly committed to Coalinga State Hospital to undergo treatment.

Though the public wasn’t allowed to physically be inside of he courtroom, they’ve been working to make sure their voices are heard, protesting this recommendation.

They have got pages of signatures from residents in the East County. A few of them gathered near the courthouse holding signs expressing their concerns about the possibility of another sex offender being placed in their community.

Among that group Melissa Woodall and her daughter. Woodall said rural East County shouldn’t always be the first choice when it comes to placing sexually violent predators.

Woodall said, "It’s awful, it really is. There are so many people who have been put into our community who are predators.”

The judge says he’ll take a few days to review the letter that were submitted and the testimony that was given before he makes his decision.