Merle Wade Wakefield
Merle Wade Wakefield. Photo credit: Courtesy, SAFE Task Force

A placement hearing will be held Monday morning for Merle Wade Wakefield, who has been recommended for conditional release to a home in Mt. Helix.

Wakefield is one of two sexually violent predators whom the Department of State Hospitals recommended reside in a supervised home in the 10900 block of Horizon Hills Drive.

Authorities use the predator designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses who are diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes them likely to re-offend.

After serving their prison sentences, sexually violent predators may undergo treatment at state hospitals, but also may petition courts to continue treatment in supervised outpatient locations. Wakefield’s request for conditional release was been granted by a judge.

Wakefield, 64, was convicted of sexual assaults dating back to the 1980s, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

Wakefield’s hearing, at 9 a.m. on Zoom, is open to the public – the webinar ID is 899 8357 2692 – according to the San Diego Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.

The hearing for the other offender, Douglas Badger, took place last month. The DA’s Office, local residents and officials from the Grossmont Union High School District opposed Badger’s placement in the Horizon Hills home.

Badger, 78, was convicted of sexual assaults dating back to the 1970s, in which he mostly targeted male hitchhikers.

The court has yet to issue a decision in Badger’s case.

State Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee, called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to halt the placements of both offenders in East County.

Jones said he sent letters last month to Department of State Hospitals Director Stephanie Clendenin after constituents expressed concerns.

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