BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. — San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ Jim Desmond joined with Borrego Springs’ residents again at the downtown courthouse Friday to protest the potential placement of another sexually violent predator in the East County desert community.
The Department of State Hospitals is recommending the conditional release of 79-year old Douglas Badger to a home on Zuni Trail, right across the road from Terrie Kellmeyer and her three children.
“I am terrified,” Kellmeyer said. “It’s a mother’s worst nightmare to know that you’re being put in a situation where you’re unable to protect your children.”
Kellmeyer, who has three children, says her daughter is deaf and cannot hear footsteps coming up behind her.
“She couldn’t hear an SVP at her bedroom window at night. It is absolutely terrifying, and it is not OK that this predator is placed across the street from us in our neighborhood, in our community,” Kellmeyer said.
Badger has been receiving treatment at Coalinga State Hospital and has served multiple prison terms for crimes, including child molestation and kidnapping.
The battle to put Badger back into society goes back to last year, when efforts to place him in the Mount Helix and Rancho Bernardo communities fell through after neighbors fought back against those proposals.
Parents say should Badger move in under constant surveillance, he’ll still always pose a threat and they’ll always be on edge.
“I don’t think his friends’ parents are really going to let them come over to our house if they know that there’s a sexually violent predator that close, looking out windows in the yard. It’s going to change how they grow up, how they perceive their neighborhood, how safe he feels in his own home,” Borrego Springs resident Laura Anderson said.
This comes off another judge’s ruling last month to place 69-year-old sexually violent predator Michael Martinez at another supervised home in Borrego Springs.
Local lawmakers say they’re working to find solutions for the placement of sexually violent predators.
“Whether on federal state or other land where these individuals can be protected from society and society protected from them,” Rep. Darrell Issa said.
“Governor Newsom can make the decision and make the declaration that these sexually violent predators will be housed on state property such as Donovan or other California state properties where they can be monitored,” State Senator Brian Jones said.
Meanwhile, residents say there’s still room to fight back, claiming the property owners are out of compliance, and that there are numerous code violations.
“I feel it’s just a surreal experience. This has only been happening the last four weeks or so. I didn’t know really much about SVPs before that but now all of a sudden I feel like I’m in the battle of my life to protect my children,” another resident said.
The judge says he’s already visited the site but did not make a ruling Friday. He’s asking Liberty Healthcare, which operates the release program, to address security concerns in the area. They have 2 weeks to respond, then the judge will make a ruling sometime after that.