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By Miriam Raftery

March 30, 2023 (Borrego Springs) – Sexually violent predator Douglas Badger will be housed at a residence on Zuni Trail in Borrego Springs starting in May. The placement was approved by Superior Court Judge Theodore Weathers, over vocal objections from community residents and officials.

Badger has been convicted of kidnapping and raping young male hitchhikers and sexually assaulting a young girl.  He’s been diagnosed as a sexual sadist, served several terms in prison and the past 18 years in a state mental hospital, but he has been approved by the Dept. of State Hospitals for release.

The placement  in Borrego Springs follows three failed efforts by the state to place Badger in Campo, Mt. Helix, and Rancho Bernardo. All of those communities mounted vigorous opposition, as did Borrego residents.

State Senator Brian Jones has called for a the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to approve an audit of the contract between the California Department of State Hospitals and Liberty Healthcare, which operates properties housing sexually violent predators, or SVPs. 

The Borrego Sun reports that Liberty Healthcare has proposed SVP housing at homes near school bus stops, in trailers, and on golf courses. The newspaper also contends that the home where Badger is slated to be placed has multiple code violations.

Another SVP, Michael Martinez, was placed in Borrego Springs in 2022 on Running M Road, even though Martinez previously escaped a property in Boulevard through three locked gates and admitted lying to authorities, the Borrego Sun reports.


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