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Hearing by phone set for proposed release of sexually violent predator Michael James Poulsom

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Posted at 6:55 AM, Mar 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 09:59:31-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A telephonic public meeting will be held Tuesday regarding the proposed release of a convicted sex offender into a supervised home in East County, with residents afforded an opportunity to view the Jacumba Hot Springs home where he would be housed.

Michael James Poulsom, 60, was convicted on three separate occasions -- including twice in San Diego County -- for sex crimes involving children.

He was sentenced to 15 years in state prison in 1995, but prior to his release date, prosecutors petitioned to have Poulsom committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator, or SVP, a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder -- pedophilia disorder, in Poulsom's case -- that makes them a danger to the public.

He has since petitioned for release from the hospital and into the Conditional Release, or CONREP, program for sex offenders. The Department of State Hospitals proposed placing him at 45612 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs.

Earlier this month, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom authorized Poulsom's placement at the home.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a public meeting regarding the placement will be held over the telephone from 11 a.m. until noon.

Residents can take part in the meeting by calling 877-369-5243 or 617-668-3633, with passcode 0520889##.

Organizers say the San Diego County Sheriff's Department will set up "a viewpoint from where citizens can view the house where Poulsom is being placed." Attendees will also be allowed to relay their concerns regarding Poulsom's housing in the community.

At a public hearing held at the San Diego Central Courthouse in early March, Bloom said he drove out to the site on his own time and found the area to be rather desolate, with no schools, business or occupied homes nearby.

Nonetheless, members of the public -- including County Supervisor Dianne Jacob -- urged Bloom to find an alternative site to place Poulsom.

Jacob said Poulsom would mark the 13th SVP in the area, and told Bloom, "There is an over-concentration of Sexually Violent Predators out in the rural East County."

The supervisor suggested placing Poulsom just outside the grounds of the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility, where some SVPs have been situated in the past. However, prison officials have rejected any future placements.

Bloom said utilizing the prison did appear to be the best possible alternative, though it was uncertain whether he would be able to place Poulsom there.