A San Diego Superior Court judge has ruled that a Pauma Valley residence proposed to house a 75-year-old convicted sex offender is not a suitable placement for his supervised release, and another location will be considered.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Howard Shore issued the ruling Tuesday regarding Joseph Bocklett, who 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.
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.
Bocklett petitioned last year for the Conditional Release Program for sex offenders and was granted conditional release to a supervised home, with an Adams Drive address in Pauma Valley proposed by the Department of State Hospitals.
Shore heard opposition from the Pauma Valley community last week regarding the placement.
“I can certainly empathize with the feeling that people do not want someone like Mr. Bocklett in their community,” Shore said during last Friday’s hearing. “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.”
Many local residents called in to say that despite the supervision put in place to monitor Bocklett, which includes a GPS ankle device, 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