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

A sexually violent predator previously rejected for conditional release to a home in the Mount Helix neighborhood has been proposed for placement into a supervised residence in Borrego Springs, it was announced Wednesday.

Merle Wade Wakefield, 64, has been recommended by the California Department of State Hospitals for placement at 1575 Yaqui Road.

Wakefield, who was convicted of sexual assaults dating back to the 1980s, is classified as a sexually violent predator, a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes them likely to re-offend. After serving their prison sentences, SVPs may undergo treatment at state hospitals, but may also petition courts to continue treatment in supervised outpatient locations.

Parameters of conditional release typically include GPS monitoring and rules against venturing outside the home unless accompanied by a representative from Liberty Healthcare, which contracts with the state to supervise SVPs.

The recommendation for a Borrego Springs placement comes a few months after San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Harutunian III denied placing Wakefield at a home on Horizon Hills Drive in the Mount Helix neighborhood. The judge cited the home’s location in a densely populated neighborhood and its close proximity to children in his decision.

A court hearing has been scheduled regarding the merits of the new placement location, during which members of the public are typically allowed to make comments to the court regarding the suitability of the placement. That hearing is set for 9 a.m. on Sept. 13 at the downtown San Diego courthouse.

Public comments may also be submitted until Aug. 11 to the SAFE Task Force, a regional law enforcement team that monitors and enforces sex offender registration laws in the county.

Comments may be submitted to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org, or by calling 858- 495-3619.

Comments may also be mailed to: SVP Release/SAFE Task Force, 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 92123.

–City News Service

Show comments