FDA is working with U.S. partners, including CDC, and international partners to closely monitor an outbreak caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China
 Image via fda.gov

The placement of a convicted sex offender into a supervised home in east San Diego County has been postponed in light of a Department of State Hospitals directive, stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, to suspend the release of Sexually Violent Predator patients for the next 30 days.

The directive issued Wednesday by DSH Director Stephanie Clendenin states that a decrease in patient movement would reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and thus led her to issue a moratorium on the releases of Sexually Violent Predators, or SVPs, a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes them a danger to the public.

Michael James Poulsom, 60, was convicted on three separate occasions — including twice in San Diego County — of sex crimes involving children.

He was slated to be released to 45612 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs sometime on or before April 3, but that placement will be delayed due to the new directive.

Clendenin also issued a directive earlier this month suspending the admission of SVP patients at DSH facilities for 30 days.

Poulsom was sentenced to 15 years in state prison in 1995, but prior to his release date, prosecutors petitioned to have Poulsom committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator.

He petitioned for release from the hospital and into the Conditional Release, or CONREP, program for sex offenders, after which the Department of State Hospitals proposed placing him at the Jacumba Hot Springs home.

San Diego County Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom authorized Poulsom’s placement at the home earlier this month.

The move drew opposition from local residents and county Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who said Poulsom would be the 13th SVP placed in the area, contributing to “an over-concentration of Sexually Violent Predators out in the rural East County.”

–City News Service