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Lakeside school leaders call for sex offender safety plan

Frustration and worry have grown in Lakeside over a home that is housing a group of registered sex offenders in a family neighborhood.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — There's a new call for safety from Lakeside school leaders after a series of proposals to place sex offenders in an East County neighborhood

Frustration and worry have grown in Lakeside over a home that is housing a group of registered sex offenders in a family neighborhood.

Neighbors say they checked the California Megan's Law website, and were surprised to learn five sex offenders were living in the home.

Last week, neighbors held signs near the home on Sesi Lane. The home is registered as a treatment facility and is legally able to house up to six sex offenders at a time. 

The community wants to send a message to the state and Governor Gavin Newsom to enhance community safety by doing the following:

  • Sponsor legislation to expand current prohibition of serious sex offenders from being placed within 2,000 feet to one mile of a school and include school bus stops, youth sports fields and parks in this definition.
  • Direct CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) to partner with local school districts to create local Sex Offender School Safety and Transparency Committees in each school district made up of PTA members, school board members, district administrators, and at large community members such as youth sports coaches.
  • Direct CDCR to create a Sex Offender School Safety rating scale to be used by the Sex Offender School Safety and Transparency Committees to evaluate, rate and determine the appropriateness of proposed sex offender placements based on local conditions.
  • Direct CDCR to notify local school districts no less than a month in advance of the proposed placement of serious sex offenders in their district boundaries.

What we found

CBS 8 found convictions ranging from indecent exposure, rape to sex offenses with a child under the age of 14.

Megan's law federally requires law enforcement to post information about registered sex offenders.

Neighbors said after seeing different people go in and out of the house they checked Megan’s law and found the listed sex offenders. 

We went to The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who says the re-entry home opened in July 2022 and falls under the state's Specialized Treatment for Optimized Programming and says up to six people can live in a home which is aimed to reduce recidivism. 

“Our first priority is public safety. Providing reentry services is an imperative piece to achieving reduced recidivism and ensuring that those being released from prison have resources available in their communities,” wrote Dana Simas, CDCR Press Secretary.

She also clarified the sex offender registry laws and restrictions on their living arrangements.

“Per Penal Code section 3003.5(a), a person released on parole who is required to register pursuant to Section 290 may not reside in a single-family dwelling with any other person also required to register, unless they are related,” wrote Simas. “A residential treatment facility which serves six or fewer persons is not considered a "single family dwelling" and is authorized to house and treat up to six registrants.”

CBS 8 spoke with Senator Brian Jones who is working to find out how this happened and if the laws were followed.

“My staff is working on it, as we speak, to figure out how this happened, why it happened, if they did follow the law, what I can do as the representative of that neighborhood,” said Jones. “The bottom line is, is we need to change the laws that allow this to happen in the first place.”

A media conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday.

CBS 8 is Working For You. If there is an issue you’d like the team to look into, email WorkingForYou@cbs8.com or click here.

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