Starting by April 25, James will be living at a home on Old Highway 80 across from the Jacumba airport. Following public protests, the Judge had agreed to review his decision, but Monday issued his ruling after finding the placement in Jacumba met statutory requirements.
By Miriam Raftery
March 25, 2019 (San Diego) – Ignoring tearful pleas from three people victimized as children by sexually violent predator Alan Earl James, San Diego Superior Court Judge Albert Haratunian III today reaffirmed his earlier decision allowing release of James into Jacumba Hot Springs.
James, 62, has convictions for crimes including kidnapping for purposes of child molestation, unlawful sexual intercourse and forcible child molestation against three minor victims in San Diego County in 1986. He had previously been convicted of a lewd act on a child under 14 in 1981 but served only 180 days in jail.
Following his 1986 convictions, he was sentenced to 28 years in prison. He has als been diagnosed with pedophilia disorder and has been designated as a sexually violent predator who prosecutors have warned is likely to re-offend.
Before his release, San Diego’s district attorney filed a petition to have James committed to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator and in 2007, after a jury trial, he was sent to Coalinga Sate Hospital for an indeterminate term. Las October, despite petitions from San Diego’s D.A. to keep James hospitalized, the state hospital recommended James for release.
He will be monitored under the conditional release program for eventual integration back into the community despite his serious crimes.
Supervisor Jacob issued a statement denouncing the judge’s ruling. “The high concentration of thee monsters out East is outrageous,” said Jacob, who last week sent a letter to the state attorney general asking him to investigate the disproportionate placement of sexually violent predators in East County’s rural towns.
James is the 10th sexually violent predator in rural East County – and nine of those have been placed in Jacumba, according to Jacob. Area residents have organized to oppose the releases, staging protests at the courthouse urging the judge to protect those in their communities.
KUSI news reports that the state’s treatment program for sex offenders is three times more expensive than prison.
The state invests significant funding in sex offender treatment program, but there’s no guarantee the treatments will work – and some have been quick to reoffend. One pedophile released into Jacumba removed his angle bracelet and raped an elderly woman in her home nearby, giving substance to residents’ fears.
Another concern is that law enforcement times in rural areas such as Jacuumba, Campo and Boulevard are far slower than in our county’s urban areas, based on public records compiled by East County Magazine in 2014. The average response time in that rural area was 30 minutes or more, compared to just five or six minutes in the cities of Lemon Grove and Santee, all served by the San Diego Sheriff Department.