California Department of Mental Health today proposed housing sexually violent predator Matthew Hedge at property adjacent to R.J. Donovan State Prison in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego County.
This is the second proposed location for Hedge. The initial recommendation in Ramona was withdrawn when the property owner, Charles Koppa of Ramona, declined to rent to the state.
Koppa rescinded his offer to rent his vacant house at 3337 Highway 67 east of Highland Valley Road on Feb. 20, after protests from the community—including a standing-room-only crowd at the Ramona planning group meeting last Thursday night—and after Koppa learned more about Hedge, convicted in 1989 of molesting two boys, 6 and 10 years old, and two girls, ages 9 and 13.
The proposed location near Donovan prison is 6.59 miles from the nearest school (San Ysidro High School) and 3.19 miles from the U.S. Border (Otay Mesa Port of Entry). No preschools or daycare centers are in the immediate area, and no other sex offenders live in the immediate area, reports the San Diego Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Task Force.
San Diego Superior Court’s March 13 hearing to discuss moving Hedge to Ramona has been canceled. On April 13 at 1:30 p.m., a public hearing will be held in San Diego Superior Court, Department 55, with Judge Michael Wellington presiding, to consider the proposed placement of Matthew Hedge at the Donovan site.
Public comments about the proposed placement recommendation received by March 27 will be forwarded to the State Department of Mental Health and to the court before the hearing.
Public comments may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to SVP Release/SAFE Task Force 9425 Chesapeake Drive San Diego, CA 92123.
More information about sexually violent predators and an explanation of the legal requirements for their designation, treatment and release from confinement are available at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Web site at sdcda.org/protecting/index.php.