EGCC: from birthday cake to coping
with juvenile sex offenders

by Thom Nadeau of Notable Trials The Elk Grove City Council moved uneasily from enjoying its 10-year birthday cake Wednesday to trying to...

by Thom Nadeau
of Notable Trials

The Elk Grove City Council moved uneasily from enjoying its 10-year birthday cake Wednesday to trying to cope with problems posed by juvenile sex offenders residing on Cheer Court.

The council bestowed a special thank-you plaque on Krista Guerrero, designer of the city’s commemorative 10th annual logo.

“It’s an honor to win this,” Guerrero said in a brief comment at the presentation.

Mayor Sophia Scherman recessed the meeting for a short “break to cake” only to return to face frustrated town residents lined up to complain about the disgusting and threatening behavior of some residents of the Cheer Court juvie facility.

Individual council members offered personal thoughts on the ups and downs the city had experienced during its decade-long birthing. Then a woman, Carrie Wilmont, came to the podium to discuss what she called “a sensitive issue.”

The “sensitive issue” was the behavior of those living at a residence accommodating “six or fewer” convicted juvenile sex offenders that had – unbeknownst to her – been established in her neighborhood.

Wilmont complained about the residents fighting in the home, the “raucous hours” they kept, that some boys had escaped, while others were assaulting people in the area and that at least one boy “masturbating in full view” of herself, other neighbors and some local girls.

Claims of rape and sodomy were also alleged.

Clearly upset and crying, Wilmont expressed frustration over discovering that little could be done to close the juvie residence or to regulate it more closely.

Council member James Cooper – who is also running for Sacramento County sheriff – commiserated with the mother’s plight, but confirmed that the city’s options were severely limited by the law I such a situation.

The difficulty, he said, was that “the state controls group homes, not the city,” Cooper said. “The state has handcuffed us.”

Had the facility housed more than six people, a different set of laws would have governed it and the city could do more to regulate it. But it didn’t, so the city was essentially strapped into a procedural straightjacket.

“But there has to be a loophole somewhere,” Scherman opined – a conviction that was echoed over and over again that night by other neighbors who came to the podium to complain.

Meanwhile, the upset neighbors had instituted a watch program that had people monitoring the facility for much of the day and evening.

One move by the owners of the juvie residence – a business enterprise apparently based in Nevada – further outraged the neighbors.

The windows were painted in an opaque way so that residents could look out and observe neighbors, but neighbors could not look in to see if the juvie occupants were spying out at them.

During the hour-long discussion, the city attorney revealed a surprising factoid: at least nine such group homes were located in Elk Grove, although the type of treatment at them varies and is not always stated.

At least eight citizens spoke out against the juvenile residence and the problems it poses. The council pledged it would look into what might be done to curtail the juvenile activities, but admitted that it seemed there was little hope under the current circumstances.

In more routine business the city approved beer and wine permits for 1) Henry’s Farmers Market located in the 8200-block of Laguna Boulevard; 2) the Walgreens drugstore at 9200 Elk Grove – Florin Road; and 3) the Walgreens drugstore in the 7200-block of Laguna Boulevard.

The council also approved some changes in the general and specific plans for the Franklin Crossing Subdivision Amendment Project.

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1 comment

Josie said...

We need to join hands as a community to get this law changed. Why is the law different for juvenile sex offenders vs adult sex offenders. A sex offender is a sex offender. To find out how you can keep informed and help go to their web site:

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