Jones to Newsom: Stop Playing Hide the Predator

State secretly trying to release sexually violent predators in residential neighborhoods

State Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) today called on Governor Gavin Newsom to order the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to stop trying to release sexually violent predators (SVPs) in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods throughout California.  Jones was specifically reacting to recent attempts by DSH to place two SVPs in East San Diego County.

“For decades state agencies have been sneaking around trying to release or parole dangerous sexually violent predators and rapists in residential neighborhoods,” stated Senator Brian W. Jones.  “Back in 1980’s Governor Deukmejian stepped in to stop it.  In the 90’s Governor Wilson had to do the same.  It’s time now for Governor Newsom to step up as well and call a halt to this dangerous practice.”

In the last several weeks, the DSH plan to place Douglas Badger and Merle Wakefield, both dangerous SVPs, into a home in Mt. Helix was exposed and community protests ensued.  This week, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian disallowed Wakefield’s placement in the home but Badger’s approval to live in the same location on Mt. Helix is still pending.

In 1994, state officials tried to parole convicted serial rapist Melvin Carter into several Bay Area communities.  Wilson overruled his own staff and ordered that Carter be sent to spend his parole in a trailer at the Devil’s Garden Fire Conservation Camp in Modoc County.

In 1987, the state tried to parole sadistic torturer-rapist Lawrence Singleton to several Bay Area communities.  Deukmejian ordered that Singleton instead serve out his parole in a trailer on the grounds of San Quentin Prison.

“The state should be protecting children and other vulnerable people in residential neighborhoods, not putting them at risk,” continued Jones.  “Governor Newsom and his department directors need to stop playing ‘hide the predator’ and come up with a safer, transparent plan for dealing with sexually violent predators and other sexual offenders.  We now know about the state’s attempts to release Badger and Wakefield, but where else in California is the Newsom Administration trying to do this?”