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Residents near El Cajon neighborhood rally against placement of sexually violent predator

Residents near El Cajon neighborhood rally against placement of sexually violent predator
Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 22:52:17-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) - Residents in a neighborhood near El Cajon are rallying against the proposed placement of a notorious sexual predator.

Sarah Thompson, who has an eight-year-old son, vividly recalls hearing about the proposed placement of sexually violent predator Douglas Badger, 78, earlier this week.

"Had to pause the news. Rewind it and watch it again. I was in shock. Couldn't sleep that night," said Thompson.

The California Department of State Hospitals is recommending Badger be placed in a home on Horizon Hills Drive just east of Avocado Avenue, a few doors down from Thompson.

"There are children all up and down the streets in our neighborhood. It's within less than a mile of two elementary schools ... It creates a climate of fear and uncertainty," said Thompson.

Badger was convicted of sexual assaults dating back to the 1970s for preying on young male hitchhikers and abducting them at gunpoint. He was released from prison in 1997 and into a maximum-security state hospital, classified as a sexually violent predator likely to reoffend.

In 2014, the state proposed releasing Badger into a home in Campo, despite protests. He ended up withdrawing his petition for release.

Last year, he filed another petition, arguing he was not likely to reoffend. In January, a judge granted his supervised, conditional release.

"Of the last four sexual predators, the've all been placed in East County ... We should not be the dumping ground for sexual predators," said County Supervisor Joel Anderson.

Anderson is urging those with concerns to make their opinions known ahead of a Zoom hearing before a judge on April 20th.

Meanwhile, Thompson will be meeting with neighbors next week in the hope of preventing the placement of the man she says doesn't belong in her neighborhood.

"Families will be terrified. Families will be constantly looking over their shoulders," said Thompson.

Badger is one of two sexually violent predators that may be placed in the same home. A hearing for a second man, Merle Wakefield, will be held May 10.

The public can send in comments for the Badger placement through April 9th.

Residents can email their comments to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org or call 858-495-3691. Comments can also be mailed to the SVP Release/SAFE Task Force at 9425 Chesapeake Drive San Diego, CA, 92123.