A public hearing was held to allow concerned citizens to voice their opinion on whether a sexually violent predator should be released into a Campo community. NBC 7's Wendy Fry reports.
A judge has delayed for a second time deciding where to place a sexually violent predator who would be heavily supervised.
Nearly a dozen East County residents urged the judge to rule against housing 71-year-old Douglas Badger, convicted of sexually assaulting numerous adult men and a 16-year-old girl, in a proposed location in the 1100 block of Custer Road in Campo.
San Diego Superior Court Judge David Gill told NBC7 he would be visiting the proposed site after hearing from numerous residents who described nearby basetball courts, a facility for juvenile boys, and neighbors with small children.
Badger is a diagnosed schizophrenic and sexual sadist with a history of violent assaults dating back to 1974.
Vanessa Walker, a mother of three, lives two doors down from where Badger is scheduled to move-in.
"I don't even want to tell my children about this person because my children dwell on these things, and I don't want to rob them of their childhood. Of their safety. In our home," Walker said.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents East County, is opposed to Badger being released.
"He should not be released because of the history of this case, but if the judge finds that the law - and he has to comply with the law - prevents him from keeping him locked up then the only acceptable location would be on the Donovan State Prison site near the prison," Jacob said.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, represents South County and said the answer is not to place him in the Otay Mesa community. She said that location is just a few miles from San Ysidro High School.
"We know from this area that South County becomes the dumping ground," Gonzalez said. "It becomes the convenient place for everyone to say, 'Just stick them there.' But our children are as valuable as anyone else's and we can't have a disproportionate share of these violent sexual offenders."
Gonzalez also believes Badger should remain locked up.
Finding places to house violent sexual offenders is no easy feat. Existing law prevents registered sex offenders from being housed within 2,000 feet of a school, playground, park and place of worship, leaving few options left.
Badger was placed outside Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa in 1991. Shortly after, he reoffended and was convicted of sexual assault again.
According to a spokesman for Jacob, six sexually violent predators have been released into San Diego County since 2006 - four into East County and two outside Donovan prison. Of those six, five ended up violating the terms of their release and four of those were sent back to state custody.
Judge Gill delayed his decision to a March 14 hearing.