A sexually violent predator granted conditional release in San Diego County must be placed at a home in Jacumba Hot Springs by June 4, a judge ruled Friday.
Herman Smith, 71, was convicted of forcible rape and other sex crimes in 1993 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was found to be a sexually violent predator in 2009 and was committed to the Department of State Hospitals to undergo treatment.
Last year, Smith petitioned the Superior Court to be released through the Conditional Release Program for sex offenders and, after a trial, Judge Howard Shore found Smith amenable to being released.
David Jimenez, who currently lives near where Smith is going to reside on Desert Rose Ranch Road, told the judge he didn’t think it was fair that Smith was being placed in Jacumba Hot Springs. Jacumba Hot Springs is located in the far reaches of southeastern San Diego County.
“I’m very uncomfortable,” Jimenez said outside court. “I do think Jacumba is a dumping ground for predators.”
Jimenez, who is moving closer to the city of San Diego for health reasons, said another sexually violent predator lived in the same home on Desert Rose Ranch Road previously and caused no problems, but he believes Smith moving in will drop the value of his home as he tries to sell it.
—City News Service