Court plan to move convicted rapist to Redwood City area opposed by local law enforcement

in Community/Crime

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and Redwood City Police Department are publicly objecting to a tentative court-ordered plan to move a convicted rapist to the Redwood City area.

Michael Thomas Cheek, convicted of rapes in Santa Cruz and Lake counties in 1980 and 1981, respectively, is set to be located in the 800 block of Hillcrest Drive in unincorporated Redwood City, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Officials from RCPD and the Sheriff’s Office have gone door to door in the Emerald Hills area to alert residents to the plans and provide a forum for them to voice any opinions and concerns.

The public is invited to comment on Cheek’s release into San Mateo County at a hearing at Santa Cruz Superior Court on March 1 at 9 a.m.

“The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and Redwood City Police Department strongly object to the tentative order allowing a Sexually Violent Predator to live in this area,” the sheriff’s office states.

Cheek was convicted in Santa Cruz County in 1980 of kidnapping, rape and oral copulation of a 21-year-old woman and sentenced to 20 years in state prison. The following year in 1981, when he was sent to Contra Costa County for probation violation proceedings relating to an earlier offense, Cheek escaped from custody and committed a rape in Lake County of a 15-year-old using a firearm, according to court documents.

In 1997, when his prison term was nearing its end, Cheek was legally determined to be a “sexually violent predator,” which committed him to the Department of State Hospitals in Coalinga for treatment. In October 2019,  Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge ordered Cheek’s conditional release “to begin outpatient treatment and supervision as the final phase of the relapse prevention program administered by the Department of State Hospitals in Coalinga.”

“The court has found reason to place Mr. Cheek outside the county in which the crimes were committed and/or the county in which he had his primary residence,” the sheriff’s office said. “For this reason, a tentative order has been issued for Mr. Cheek to reside in the Redwood City area of San Mateo County.”

The literature being handed out by the Sheriff’s Office and RCPD was posted onto the Facebook group, Redwood City Residents Say: What?, and received strong reactions. The majority of residents in the forum spoke out against Cheek moving to the area, while some state he needs to go somewhere if he’s done his time.