SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego judge ruled Monday that civil commitments do not violate a sexually violent predator's constitutional right to equal protection and that sexually violent predators can be held under indeterminate, or indefinite sentences.
The ruling by Judge Michael Wellington brings California's sexually violent predator laws in line with sexually violent predator civil commitments across the nation, said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis,
Wellington, during a six-week hearing, considered the case of Richard McKee, a convicted child molester from San Diego County who had appealed his indefinite commitment under Jessica's Law.
McKee argued that California should not be able to treat sexually violent predators differently from other types of offenders, such as the mentally disordered and those found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Prosecutors argued that an indeterminate term reasonably balances public safety and treatment of the mentally ill.
Evidence included recidivism statistics and the quality of harm and trauma to victims of sexual assaults and molestations.
Jessica's Law was passed in 2006, changing the length of time a sexually violent predator could be held through a civil commitment from two years to an indeterminate sentence.
McKee was committed under Jessica's Law in 2007 and his case was one of the first to be appealed, Dumanis said.
The case made its way to the California Supreme Court, which sent it back to San Diego Superior Court after finding that the indeterminate term may violate the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause in that it treated sexually violent predators differently than other civilly committed classes of criminals.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.