The California Department of Mental Health today withdrew its proposed placement of sexually violent predator Matthew Hedge at a single-family home in Ramona.

Last week, hundreds of angry Ramona residents protested against letting Hedge live at the home at 3337 Highway 67, which is located .91 miles from an elementary school and near two preschools.

The owner of the Ramona property, a local Realtor, eventually tore up the agreement he signed with the state agency.

Hedge, 45, pleaded guilty in 1989 to molesting two boys and two girls in the San Diego area and served prison time before entering a treatment program at Coalinga State Hospital.

After completing the multi-phase treatment program in November 2005, he was allowed to live in a trailer outside the walls of Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa, but was returned to Coalinga in January 2006 after state officials monitoring his movements said he talked with two girls at a treatment center, lied to staff and had a deviant sexual fantasy about a child.

Last October, Judge Michael Wellington ruled that Hedge should be released back into San Diego County on an outpatient basis.

A status conference is scheduled March 13 on the Department of Health's progress in finding an appropriate alternate proposed location for Hedge's placement in the community.