Bonny Doon residents were in tears Monday at the Santa Cruz County courthouse when a judge approved placing a sexually violent predator on their street.
Judge Syda Cogliati’s ruling allows convicted rapist Michael Cheek to move into a two-story house at 310 Wild Iris Lane. Shock spread through a packed courtroom gallery at Monday’s hearing.
Cheek, 69, is originally from Concord.
Cheek was convicted of multiple rapes in Contra Costa County and Santa Cruz County the 1980s. At one point, he escaped from custody and raped 15-year-old girl at gunpoint.
Cogliati’s decision went against strong objections from the Santa Cruz County sheriff, district attorney, and supervisors.
Sheriff Jim Hart said he was “outraged” by the judge’s ruling.
“The way to fix this, not this specific placement, but to fix the system, is there are articles of legislation that need to be amended. This is happening all over California where Liberty is placing people. If people don’t think it’s right, they need to write to the state legislature and make demands so these people are not destroying neighborhoods,” he said.