Homeless Voucher Scheme: 2 Sex Offenders Accused of Raping Minor Girls at El Cajon Motel

Taxpayer-funded homeless voucher scandal in El Cajon: ‘We’ve got a lot of criminals in this group of people’

Two girls believed to be as young as 13 were allegedly raped by two convicted sex offenders wearing ankle monitors at a Motel 6 in El Cajon participating in a motel voucher program that temporarily houses homeless.

In September, the Globe reported on the homeless voucher program in El Cajon, in San Diego County: “There are 18 motels in San Diego County participating in the homeless hotel voucher program – eight of them, 44%, are located in El Cajon.”

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, El Cajon City Manager Graham Mitchell and Police Chief Mike Moulton objected and said the County “is saturating El Cajon with homeless and hotel vouchers,” with no prior notice or warning to the city. They contacted the County asking them to spread their voucher-using homeless throughout the county, rather than sending the bulk of them to El Cajon. “We have the second highest poverty level in the county,” City Manager Mitchell said. “We also have the most immigrants,” noting the special circumstances these groups face, as well as reliance on the city and county.

In September, the City sent letters to these motels, telling them they could face fines if they allow homeless vouchers to make up more than 15% of their occupancy.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta intervened and told the City to cease and desist with their 15% homeless voucher occupancy policy. The AG claimed in his letter that this was a discrimination and a fair housing issue. Specifically, the AG said: “Discrimination based on source of income is a civil right.”

The Globe asked, “Are the homeless transients now a protected class in California?”

Fast forward to today, as Fox News reported:

Police arrested a pair of California sex offenders over the weekend after they allegedly admitted to raping an underage girl, recording part of the encounter on video and claimed to have attacked other girls in recent days, according to police in El Cajon.

Lawrence “Larry” Cantrell, 34, and Michael Inman, 70, are accused of raping a girl, believed to be between 13 and 16, in Cantrell’s Motel 6 bedroom last week, where he was staying as part of a voucher program for the homeless.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told Fox News Digital that two of the girls were believed to be as young as 13.

This is exactly what the Mayor, City Manager and Police Chief were so concerned about when we spoke in September. “The City and police department say the AG is overstepping, as this is not about refusing to help the homeless, but an actual serious public safety issue with the dramatically increasing crime from the homeless transients,” the Globe reported.

The Attorney General’s office said in the September letter:

“The City’s actions cannot stand. The City’s conduct constitutes unlawful discrimination in direct contravention of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Our office hereby demands that the City immediately (1) rescind the warning notices, (2) agree to refrain from issuing such notices in the future, (3) publicly state that hotels will not be subjected to adverse action from the City for accepting such vouchers and (4) order its law enforcement officers to immediately cease any unlawful harassment of hotel guests at participating hotels.”

Such an interesting choice of language: the homeless transients are now “hotel guests” at participating homeless hotels paid for by California taxpayers.

El Cajon Police Department received so many calls for service to these motels, this resulted in more than 40 arrests in four days of transients who are felons with long rap sheets, with outstanding warrants, and who are dealing drugs.

Chief Moulton said at the time, the escalation of increased calls was a huge impact to the department. For context, he said in 2013 they received 2,800 calls about homeless crimes and incidents. It peaked in 2018 at 9,000. Since that time (2019-2021) they have been right at 7,500 a year. This is a direct correlation to passage of Propositions 47 and 57, Chief Moulton added.

“While the voucher program has placed as many as 50% of the homeless voucher recipients in El Cajon hotels, the city accounts for only 3% of the county’s population, Wells said,” Fox reported.

“I am 100% sure they’re punishing us for being conservative,” Wells said.

When the City sent letters to these motels, telling them they could face fines if they allow homeless vouchers to make up more than 15% of their occupancy, this elicited immediate reaction by San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, challenging the Mayor, City Manager and Chief of Police. “Our County is making historic investments in supporting the unsheltered in our region, and will not allow the actions of the City of El Cajon to push more people onto the street. We will fight for what is right,” Fletcher tweeted.

Fox reported:

Both men were placed into housing by People Assisting The Homeless, or PATH, a homeless services provider in San Diego, according to authorities.

A PATH employee called police on Friday to report Cantrell’s “suspicious behavior,” police said. Cantrell then allegedly admitted to child molestation and told officers he had a video on his phone.

PATH had placed Cantrell in the El Cajon Motel 6 for about five to six days before the crime, police said. Prior to that, he was kicked out of another hotel voucher program due to an “altercation.”

Police said they arrested Inman at a Days Inn in San Diego – where he allegedly told them he knew the girl was underage and that he and Cantrell had victimized at least two other girls in El Cajon in the past week.

El Cajon Police Department issued the following information about the suspects:

Officers from the El Cajon Police Department responded to the motel and spoke with Cantrell, who admitted to having sexual contact with a girl he believed to be a minor. Cantrell told officers that his friend, 70 y/o Michael Inman, a sex registrant he met through PATH while staying at the Days Inn hotel on Ash St. in San Diego, brought a young girl that Cantrell believed to be a minor, to his room. Cantrell questioned the young girl about her age multiple times because he believed her to be a juvenile. Cantrell told officers the young girl claimed to be an adult, but he believed she was a minor. After a short conversation, Cantrell sexually assaulted and molested the minor. Afterward, Cantrell and Inman engaged in sexual activity with each other. Cantrell learned that
Inman had an explicit video of the minor from inside the motel room on his cell phone, so Cantrell sent the video from Inman’s phone to his own cell phone. Cantrell turned his cell phone over to officers and they confirmed Cantrell had a sexually explicit video of what appeared to be a juvenile female with Inman. Officers seized Cantrell’s phone. Cantrell provided officers with identifying information for Inman.

Proposition 57, passed in 2016, allowed early release of not only nonviolent felons, but also sex offenders and three strikers, which explains Cantrell and Inman being out of prison.

El Cajon attempted enforcing zoning rules limiting hotel homeless housing to 25% of capacity – and received a cease-and-desist letter from California Attorney General Robert Bonta, Wells said.

“We had to kind of back off at that point, and that’s when the voucher program kind of increased,” Wells said. “That’s when I said this is gonna be bad. We’ve got a lot of criminals in this group of people.”

Graham Mitchell, El Cajon’s City Manager commented on the recent crime:

“Months ago, El Cajon officials expressed concern regarding the overuse of El Cajon motels being used for the homeless vouchers. We observed negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods as El Cajon became the region’s dumping ground.  Our calls for concern were ignored.  Even the State Attorney General’s office was used to stop El Cajon from protecting its community.  In the past four months, a teen shot in the head at a motel and sex offenders engaging in and recording themselves having sex with a teen in another motel.  Both of these tragedies, and others, are connected to housing the homeless in El Cajon motels with little to no supervision.  Hopefully, regional leaders and homeless service agencies can see what the El Cajon community has seen: The overconcentration of individuals experiencing homelessness in motels without supervision is a bad formula.”

And now underage girls as young as 13 appear to have been raped by repeat sex offenders.

What does AG Bonta have to say about this? Are Cantrell and Inman “some of San Diego’s most vulnerable residents?”

Does San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, who insisted he would “fight for what is right,” have anything to say about the underage victims? Is this San Diego “making historic investments” by supporting homeless sex offenders?

The Globe sent requests for comment to both Bonta’s and Fletcher’s offices. We received an email statement right before we published from Chuck Westerheide, San Diego County Public Safety Group Communications Department:

Click here to read the full article at the California Globe

Should Sex Offenders Have Rights Too?

The California Supreme Court recently ruled that the residency restrictions against sex offenders go against their constitutional rights.

“Blanket enforcement of the residency restrictions against these parolees has severely restricted the incidence of homelessness among them, and hindered their access to medical treatment, drug and alcohol dependency services, psychological counseling and other rehabilitative social services available to all parolees,” wrote Justice Marvin R. Baxter, on behalf of the court.

I’m sorry, but whenever these sexual predators decided to act in an inappropriate manner, they gave up any kind of privacy or “constitutional rights” they had. Whenever child molesters violated a young child, they sealed their fate. Whenever a rapist decided his needs were more important than his victims, he lost any ounce of “rights” he once had.

If any sort of medical treatment is being withheld from sex offenders because it takes place at a school or park, then the simple answer would be to move the location to a place that is all inclusive. That would open up these services to everyone without placing our children at risk.

I’ve come to feel very strong about the topic of sexual assault. One of my very first protests was when I was 13. My dad and I stood across the street from a high-risk sex offender who was placed in a halfway house just up the road from an elementary school. Members of the community were outraged – and rightfully so – because this man had committed heinous acts with young children. For weeks, John and Ken from KFI AM640 held live remotes in the dirt with protestors. And there I was, along side them.

I have had numerous friends and family members who have been sexually assaulted and their number one wish is always the same: they want to try and keep the same thing from happening to someone else. They want to become advocates for others before those other people become victims.

Allowing these sex offenders to be placed near schools and parks where young children gather is like dangling a live worm in front of a fish. At some point, the fish is going to bite.