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Residents implore judge not to place sexually violent predator in rural North County | #predators | #childpredators | #kids | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


North County residents, politicians and Native American tribal chairmen implored a San Diego judge Friday to reject a bid to place a man designated as a sexually violent predator — an admitted repeat child molester — into a Pauma Valley home.

“We are pleading with you,” Pauma Band of Mission Indians policy director Juana Majel Dix told the judge considering the placement at 15077 Adams Drive. “Please do not put this man in our world.”

Joseph Bocklett, 75, was convicted of molesting three children and admitted victimizing a fourth — all between the ages of 4 and 9 years old, according to court records. The incidents occurred between 1976 and 1994.

After serving time in prison, a court determined that Bocklett met the criteria for a sexually violent predator, or SVP, and he was committed in 2017 to Coalinga State Hospital in Fresno County, where he had the option of undergoing treatment aimed at curbing his criminal urges.

To be classified by the state as a sexually violent predator a person has to have been convicted of a violent sex crime against at least one victim, and be diagnosed with a condition that makes that person likely to re-offend. According to the District Attorney’s Office, Bocklett has been diagnosed with pedophilic disorder.

State law allows SVPs confined at the hospital to petition for release under certain conditions.

Joseph Bocklett, 75

Joseph Bocklett, 75

(Courtesy of San Diego County Sheriff’s Department)

Bocklett was approved for release earlier this year. He is required to be closely monitored and must wear a GPS tracker. The question is where to place him, and the state has proposed a home about a mile north of state Route 76 and roughly two miles from Casino Pauma.

On Friday, after a more than two-hour hearing via Zoom, San Diego Superior Court Judge Howard Shore said he hopes to issue his ruling by the end of this week as to whether the proposed site is acceptable.

Shore heard from several speakers opposed to the placement, including the leaders of tribes in the rural area, which is home to several reservations. Rincon Band of Mission Indians tribal Chairman Bo Mazzetti pointed to the history of pushing the region’s tribal ancestors to “the worst land possible.”

“Now you are casting toward our area people who are not wanted in society,” Mazzetti said. He later added, “We have had to put up with a lot over the years. We don’t need additional problems.”

Chairman Temet Aguilar of the Pauma Band of Mission Indians said he opposed the placement of Bocklett just two miles from the reservation “with every fiber of my being.”

“The Indian tribes are expected to give a lot and receive little,” he said.

County Supervisor Jim Desmond, who represents the area, also objected and said the families of 17 children live within a half-mile of the proposed site. He also argued that the home is owned by “an absentee owner,” and that last year it was the site of a Sheriff’s Department raid that turned up 450 kilograms of marijuana.

“This house has concealed criminal activity in the very recent past,” Desmond said.

Other residents spoke of the number of children who play in the area, and one woman likened it to putting an alcoholic struggling with sobriety next to a bar.

Bocklett’s attorney, Jill Kovely, said placing her client in the home would avoid instead releasing him as a transient, “which overall is in the best interest of public safety.”

California Department of State Hospitals and Liberty Healthcare Inc., which contracts with the state to supervise sexual predators on conditional release in the community, are tasked with finding Bocklett a home away from schools and large populations.

Pauma Valley, near the Pauma Indian Reservation and north of Valley Center, has a population of about 7,500.

Kym Caudle, regional coordinator for Liberty Healthcare., said she recommended the property as a place where she felt Bockett — who uses a walker, and will be 76 in September — can be managed.

“Mr. Bocklett is not going to have independent movement by any means,” she said.

Shore, who has overseen Bocklett’s case in recent years, said that he personally spent a half-day walking and driving in the area around the home, which sits between another home and a nursery selling flowers and palms. It’s also a few hundred feet from a hiking trail and about a half-mile from a school bus stop.

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