Second woman says she was raped at ‘criminal’ homeless camp, San Diego County won’t act

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Less than two weeks ago, KUSI’s Teresa Sardina spoke with San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson, who represents the area where a massive, crime-ridden homeless encampment exists.

Sardina was live from the East County homeless encampment with more details.

The location of what is now being called the “criminal encampment” along North Magnolia Avenue, is just outside the City of El Cajon limits. KUSI originally spoke with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who had problems with the encampment being just outside of his jurisdiction.

Back in March, Mayor Wells told KUSI’s Dan Plante the massive homeless encampment was situated on San Diego County land, just across the street from the City of El Cajon. Wells does not allow sidewalk encampments in the City of El Cajon, and voiced his concern with the large encampment right across the street from El Cajon businesses.

The County of San Diego refuses to do anything about the encampment.

Mayor Wells made a point to differentiate the two styles of governing with two different outcomes.

The situation drastically escalated after a missing girl was found in a camper with a 32-year-old man at the homeless encampment along Magnolia Avenue. The girl was a victim of many sex crimes, but despite it all, the County of San Diego has taken no action.

To follow up on the “criminal encampment,” KUSI’s Teresa Sardina sat down with Supervisor Joel Anderson who expressed frustration with that specific encampment. Sardina said more sexually violent predators could be living in the encampment, and something like this could happen again.

Anderson responded saying, “sex crimes happen all the time. We have sex trafficking, because we are on the border, more than anyone else. It is a huge issue.”

Anderson also explained that his hands are tied, because “the courts have ruled you cannot move people off (the street) until you can provide them beds.” He also added that “the courts ruled and handcuffed us in that way.”

To make matters worse, Republican State Sen. Brian Jones introduced a bill to help our elected leaders keep these serious crimes from happening within the homeless community, but the bill was killed by California’s Democrat supermajority.

About a week later, KUSI learned that an approximately 19-year-old woman is claiming she was raped in this very same homeless encampment, which is located on the San Diego County side of the street. Surveillance video from nearby businesses shows the woman naked, frantically running around looking for help after exiting a car with three other men.

KUSI’s Teresa Sardina also spoke with Sharie Finn, the mother of the first victim of this homeless encampment, who says the encampment needs to be cleared out, and she isn’t interested in hearing a politician give another press conference about it.

Employees of the nearby businesses attended to the woman and are outraged that this homeless encampment is still there. Video shows sheriff deputies detaining one of the men who then turns aggressive towards them. The victim was taken by paramedics to be cared for.

KUSI’s Teresa Sardina reached back out to Supervisor Joel Anderson, but his office deferred to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The complete response is below:

Hi Teresa,

Law enforcement in the unincorporated County is the responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department; we suggest reaching out to them on this matter. Their Media Relations Director is Amber Baggs and she can be reached at Amber.Baggs@sdsheriff.org or 858-974-2052.

Also, my apologies on a late response to your message from last week. There are no hard feelings— from my point of view, it’s always disappointing when the good that is being done is overshadowed by the work that there is still left to do.

Supervisor Anderson will be holding a press conference at the magnolia encampment this Friday at 11:00 AM. I have already sent the details to one of KUSI’s assignment editors, but I wanted to extend the invitation to you as well.

Thank you and have a great day,

Michael Botello

Director of Communications

Supervisor Joel Anderson – District 2

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Direct: (858) 276-9119

Email: michael.botello@sdcounty.ca.gov

EARLIER STORY (Below): San Diego County Board Supervisor Anderson responds to sex crimes at East County homeless encampment

RELATED STORY: Homeless camp just outside El Cajon continues to be a cesspool for drugs and sex trafficking

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