A San Diego Superior Court judge heard opposition from the Pauma Valley community Friday regarding the proposed placement of a convicted sex offender at a supervised home in the rural North County community.
Joseph Bocklett, 75, was convicted of three sexual offenses over a 19-year period involving victims between the ages of 4 and 9, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. He was last sentenced in 2000 to a 17-year prison term and later civilly committed to Coalinga State Hospital to undergo treatment.
He remains housed at the hospital pending his placement at a supervised home, which the Department of State Hospitals proposed for a residence at 15077 Adams Drive.
Bocklett is classified as a Sexually Violent Predator, a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder — pedophilic disorder in Bocklett’s case — that makes them likely to re-offend.
Sexually Violent Predators are monitored via GPS ankle devices and are typically placed in low-population areas.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Howard H. Shore heard from members of the public who urged him to find another location for Bocklett.
The approval for conditional release has already been granted, said Shore, who said his decision was not whether to place Bocklett at the Pauma Valley address or have him committed to a hospital. Should the home be found to be unsuitable, authorities would be tasked with finding another residence for Bocklett.
“I can certainly empathize with the feeling that people do not want someone like Mr. Bocklett in their community,” Shore said. “I would be shocked if anyone wrote a letter saying, `We can’t wait to have him living in our community.’ I would expect that everyone would be opposed.”
Shore said he hoped to issue a ruling by the end of next week regarding whether Bocklett will be housed at the Adams Drive address, or whether another residence will be sought.
Many local residents called in to say that despite the supervision put in place to monitor Bocklett, they still held concerns that he might re- offend and that he presents a danger to the community’s children.
San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, whose district includes Pauma Valley, was among the speakers who called in, saying he was “100% opposed” to Bocklett’s placement “into this family community.”
Desmond said the community has a population of more than 7,500, though most SVPs are placed in areas with populations numbering around 500 people.
The supervisor said six sex offenders live in the community already, citing information from the Megan’s Law website that tracks and publicizes material regarding registered sex offenders.
Desmond said the nearest sheriff’s department substation’s response times are around 20 to 25 minutes for Pauma Valley.
Leiani Osugi, principal of Pauma School, which is less than three miles from the Adams Drive home, said she was concerned for the safety of her 240 students between preschool and eighth grade, as well as the community’s other children.
She said many families with children also live in the nearby Rancho Corrido RV Park.
“What I’m worried about is him preying on our children, and one victim would be too many,” Osugi said.
— City News Service