By Miriam Raftery
January 6, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Despite recent protests over the highly disproportionate percentage of sexually violent predators placed in rural East County, the Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place yet another in Jacumba Hot Springs. A hearing will be held Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court (1100 Union St., Dept. 2202) to determine whether Michael Poulsom should be placed at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, a community of just 561 residents, according to the 2010 Census.
Poulsom is diagnosed with Pedophilia Disorder. In 1985, he was convicted in Georgia of child molestation with two victims. In 1989, he was convicted in San Diego County of a lewd act on a child under 14. In 1995, he was convicted again locally for a lewd act with a fourth victim, also under 14 and served 15 years in prison. Prior to his release, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office filed a petition to have Poulsom civilly committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator . He was committed, underwent treatment and petitioned for conditional release, which was opposed by the San Diego D.A. and the hospital. A year later he filed for release into the conditional release program for sex offenders, which the Dept. of State Hospitals supported over the objections of D.A. Summer Stephan.
With the court hearing scheduled for February 3, 2020, the SAFE Task Force will be accepting public comments about the proposed placement to be included in the formal response to the Court.
Supervisor Dianne Jacob posted her objections on Facebook. “This is outrageous and shameful. The state has already dumped 11 of these monsters in the same rural East County area -- and a 12th predator, Thomas Joseph Cornwell, was just approved for placement there. Adding convicted pedophile Michael James Poulsom is more proof that the state doesn’t care about these quiet, family-oriented communities. These sex criminals should not be let out at all. But if they are, they should be housed – as other predators have been – on the doorstep of Donovan state prison.”
The facility where Poulsom is proposed for release is staffed by resident deputies who live and work in the area.
Further information about SVPs and an explanation of the legal requirements for their designation, treatment, and release from confined facilities, can be obtained via the San Diego County District Attorney’s website at https://www.sdcda.org/preventing/sex-offenders/sex-offenders.php and also at the Department of State Hospital’s website at https://www.dsh.ca.gov . Information on the SAFE Task Force can be obtained at sdsafe.org .