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Public Safety

SVP recommended for conditional release to Poway home

Merle Wakefield is shown in this undated photo.
San Diego Sheriff Department
Merle Wakefield is shown in this undated photo.

State hospital officials have recommended placing a man designated as a sexually violent predator into a home in Poway, it was announced Wednesday.

Merle Wade Wakefield, 67, has been recommended by the California Department of State Hospitals for placement at a home located at 15720 Sycamore Canyon Road.

Wakefield was convicted of sexual offenses in 1981 and 1990 and sentenced to state prison, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.


Wakefield is classified as a sexually violent predator, a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes a person likely to re-offend.

After serving their prison sentences, SVPs undergo treatment at state hospitals, but may also petition courts to continue treatment in outpatient locations, where they are monitored via GPS, among other measures.

Liberty Healthcare, which operates the state's conditional release program for sexually violent predators, has said no SVPs have re-offended in the 21-year history of the program. While some SVPs have had their conditional releases terminated for violations of their release terms, Liberty officials say none of those violations were for new sexual offenses.

An Aug. 9 court hearing has been scheduled regarding the merits of the Poway placement location, during which members of the public are typically allowed to make comments to the court regarding the suitability of the placement. That 9 a.m. hearing will be held at the San Diego Central Courthouse before Superior Court Judge Yvonne Campos.

Public comments may also be submitted until July 22 to the SAFE Task Force, a regional law enforcement team that monitors and enforces sex offender registration laws in the county.


Comments can be submitted via email to; by calling 858-583-7238; or by mailing a statement to SVP Release/SAFE Task Force, 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, 92123.

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