Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the two arrested men used a hotel voucher program for parolees.
EL CAJON, Calif. — An emergency El Cajon City Council meeting was held Tuesday as police say a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at a motel used by hotel voucher recipients.
Police said Monday they arrested two men during an investigation of alleged molestation at a Motel 6 on Montrose Court. Officers booked Lawrence “Larry” Cantrell, 34, into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of drug-related charges. Michael Inman, 70, was booked on suspicion of violating parole and possession of child pornography.
The men were parolees on a hotel voucher program, county officials said.
El Cajon has the most hotels and motels participating in voucher programs in the county.
Mayor Bill Wells has complained voucher programs are bringing more crime to the East County city. Families in a homeless voucher program have said the ability to have a clean place to live while they try to get back on their feet has been critical. The program has show mixed results in getting people permanent housing.
Councilmembers have directed city staff to come up with a list of ordinances they can use to regulate the hotels and motels working with the voucher programs.
“Unless they can guarantee us that they will vet every single person who goes in there, I don’t think we should have this program period,” said city councilmember Michelle Metschel.
The city council is expected to meet again in two weeks to vote on tighter oversight of hotels in the area.