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Heated hearing over possible placement of sexually violent predator in Borrego Springs

Posted at 4:09 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 19:09:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Neighbors spoke out during a court hearing on Friday to discuss the possible placement of a convicted pedophile in their Borrego Springs community.

Michael Martinez is what’s considered a sexually violent predator (SVP).

“I’m very concerned about what’s going on here today,” one neighbor told the courtroom. Another neighbors stated, “It's a scary situation for us. [We shouldn’t have] to change our way of life to fit an SVP.”

Martinez was found guilty in four separate cases involving children.

RELATED: Sen. Jones asks judge to reject SVP placement in Borrego Springs

The San Diego Superior Court ordered his conditional release, and the Department of State Hospitals has recommended that he be place in Borrego Springs. He’ll be under the supervision of Liberty Healthcare.

Liberty Healthcare’s Executive Director Alan Stillman appeared virtually for the hearing and said that Martinez would be under constant GPS monitoring. He said that Liberty Healthcare has never had an SVP re-offend after being released from facilities like Coalinga State Hospital.

“We’ve had 16 to 17 clients sent back to Coalinga because they violated their terms and conditions that staff caught before anything developed that would lead to a victimization,” added Stillman.

“There are too many children. Too many families. This guy’s a pedophile and sexually violent predator and no neighborhood should have to endure that,” said District 5 San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond.

He’s helping lead the fight against Martinez's placement. He and others say that Borrego Springs is a dark sky community with few streetlights. Kids play outside and families camp nearby. Law enforcement response times are reportedly slow.

RELATED: Residents raise concerns over 2 SVP possibly being placed in Borrego Springs

Neighbor Dailyn Brown added, “Being a survivor of sexual assault myself…this has put me in a position that makes me feel like I don’t know if I would feel comfortable thinking about the potential [of his placement here].”

Martinez is the second SVP being considered for placement in Borrego Springs.

In August, Douglas Badger will have his placement hearing. He was pushed out of two other San Diego communities that fought back.