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

A sexually violent predator previously proposed for placement into a supervised residence in Borrego Springs will not be housed at the home at this time, as additional treatment was requested prior to any potential release, it was announced Friday.

Merle Wade Wakefield, 64, was recommended by the California Department of State Hospitals for placement at a home at 1575 Yaqui Road, but Liberty Healthcare, which contracts with the state to supervise offenders like Wakefield, requested this week that he complete more treatment before release.

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.

A hearing was slated to take place next month in San Diego Superior Court regarding the merits of the Borrego Springs placement location, but that hearing has been canceled, and a judge has released the property from current consideration for Wakefield’s placement. Another hearing is set for Feb. 22 of next year to review the status of a potential placement for Wakefield into the community.

The recommendation for the Borrego Springs location came 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.

–City News Service