SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Neighbors in Rancho Bernardo are gaining momentum in a grassroots effort to keep a sexually violent predator out of their neighborhood.
The California Department of State Hospitals has recommended Douglas Badger be placed at 17836 Frondoso Drive in Rancho Bernardo. The home's listing boasts a golf course view with a five-minute drive to Chaparral elementary and a 10-minute drive to Rancho Bernardo High and Bernardo Heights Middle School.
And it won't come cheap. The average cost for supervision of sexually violent predators like Badger is approximately 344,000. A general inmate in California's prisons costs taxpayers around 81,000.
Badger would be watched by a private company contracted by the state. He would be required to have supervision and a GPS locator. According to Ken August, with the Department of State Hospitals, it takes years to find a suitable location and most landlords decline. But the contracts can be lucrative. The Department of State Hospitals takes many things into consideration, including the proximity to daycares, schools, and children. Neighbors in RB pointing to SANDAG Census reports that indicate there are 1548 children under the age of 18 in the specific neighborhood (triangle from I-15 to Pomerado Rd. to Rancho Bernardo Rd.)
Carl DeMaio recently helped win the fight against Badger's proposed placement in the East County and is now fighting to keep him out of Rancho Bernardo.
"He admitted to raping over 500 girls and boys. He's a ticking time bomb. He has raped women and children. In his assessment, it read it's a certainty that he will re-offend," said DeMaio.
Diagnosed with a Schizoaffective disorder and sexual sadism, Badger's assaults go back to 1974, both male and female, women and children. He has reoffended every time he has been released.
DeMaio is pointing the finger at county officials for not following what he calls legal protocols.
"They did not do their jobs to do proper risk assessments and that's why these SVP's continue to get placed in neighborhoods ... they (county supervisors) need to go to the judge and tell them they screwed up and did do a proper risk assessment and the judge would have no choice but to throw it out," said DeMaio.
The location falls in the 3rd District of County Supervisor Terra Lawson Remer. A spokesperson for the supervisor declined to comment on DeMaio's criticism but said Lawson Remer posted her opposition on Twitter and wrote a strongly worded letter to the judge that reads in part, "moving someone with this violent background into the middle of a community full of families and children defies logic."
Supervisor Terra Lawson-Reemer sent the following letter:
Dear Judge Weathers,
I am writing to express my concerns and strong opposition to the proposal to place Douglas Badger, a sexually violent predator convicted of several crimes against young people, in the Rancho Bernardo community. The plan to conditionally release him into a home at 17836 Frondoso Drive is dangerous, wrong, and in the opinion of myself and every constituent who has contacted my office, should not have been recommended by the California Department of State Hospitals.
As you know, Rancho Bernardo is a tight-knit community that is home to thousands of families and many schools, parks, and other recreational areas where young people gather. Currently, parents feel that their children are safe in their neighborhood, allowing young people the freedom to independently gather to play sports or take the bus to and from school.
Forcing a sexually violent predator upon the residents of Rancho Bernardo will fundamentally change the community’s character, altering how parents supervise their children and affecting the daily decisions made by countless families.
Douglas Badger has been convicted of offenses that include child molestation, kidnapping, and forcible oral copulation. The sad reality is that individuals convicted of these sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder are considered more likely to reoffend. The fact that most of his victims were young males who were strangers to him make his potential placement near educational and recreational facilities frequented by children particularly troubling.
We all deserve to feel safe at home, and moving someone with this violent background into the middle of a community full of families and children defies logic. A more suitable location would be more sparsely populated and far from schools, parks, and neighborhoods with a high density of families. In the past, you have ruled against placing this individual in another part of San Diego County due, in part, to community concerns, the prevalence of nearby families, and a lack of public transportation. These qualities are even more amplified in Rancho Bernardo. I know that you have an obligation to objectively review this proposal and make a decision based on the requirements currently in place under state law, and I believe the reasons for your previous ruling are once again present in this case.
I appreciate your consideration of the deep-seated concerns expressed by me and the people of Rancho Bernardo, and sincerely hope we can find a solution to this difficult problem that does not put children at risk.
Assemblymember Brian Maienschein also sent a letter to the judge.
Dear Judge Weathers:
I am writing to strongly oppose the placement of Sexually Violent Predator Douglas Badger in the San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo.
There are multiple schools, youth organizations and community centers within a few miles of the proposed placement site. This proposed placement of an individual with a violent criminal past, who has been deemed likely to re-offend, creates significant public safety concerns.
I strongly urge you to deny this placement. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or my District Office staff at (858) 675-0077.
Comments on Badger's hearing for release to the Rancho Bernardo home can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, via phone at 858-495-3619, or by mail to: SVP Release/SAFE Task Force, 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA, 92123.