Judge orders sex predator released to rural home

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SAN DIEGO — A judge Monday authorized the release and placement of a sexually violent predator to a home in Jacumba Hot Springs, in San Diego’s rural east county.

Mikel MarshallSuperior Court Judge Howard Shore said he had no reason to deny placement for 39-year-old Mikel Wayne Marshall.

Marshall spent 14 years in prison for molesting four young boys, ages 4- 8, between 1992 and 1994. In each case, he was known to the families of the children he assaulted, authorities said.

Marshall was committed as a sexually violent predator in 2008, and since that time, has participated in the inpatient sex offender treatment program at Coalinga State Hospital.

Last August, Shore determined that Marshall could be safely released into the community for continued treatment and supervision. The Department of State Hospitals proposed placing Marshall at the location on Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba.

Shore said Marshall will not be released until he signs 15 pages of conditions regarding his daily movements, which will be strictly monitored. He is to be placed at the Jacumba residence on or before Feb. 10.

Before ordering Marshall’s release, Shore heard from Jacumba resident Merritt Wyeth, who lives in a home in the valley below where Marshall will be.

“This is not all right,” she told the judge. “We moved out there so we could have our freedom.”

But Shore said he could find no reason to deny Marshall his freedom.

The judge — who personally reviewed the Jacumba placement site — said a proposal to house Marshall in a trailer on the grounds of Donovan State Prison in the South Bay — where other SVPs have lived — was not a viable option because the trailer is no longer available and putting Marshall there is not consistent with the goals of the provision which allows for SVPs to be reintegrated into society.

Deputy District Attorney Kristen Spieler said Liberty Healthcare — which contracts with the state to monitor SVPs after their release — will transport Marshall to all of his appointments when he is relocated. Marshall will also be required to wear a GPS tracking device 24 hours a day.

Deputy Public Defender Michael Ruiz said at a hearing last month that Marshall has “earned his release” by “actively trying to better himself.”

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