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Sex offenders accused of raping underage girls while staying in hotel through CA homeless voucher program

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A California Republican mayor is considering plans to “defy the state” and ditch its homeless voucher program after a pair of sex offenders allegedly raped an underage girl in a Motel 6 last week. 

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss why he will likely roll back the local hotel voucher program to house the homeless, even if it means facing legal action by the state. 

“We tried to push back on it before using conditional use permits, and the county entrusted the California State Attorney General, Rob Bonta, to come in and give us a cease and desist letter saying that we couldn’t do that,” Wells told Ashley Strohmier Tuesday. 

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“I think we’re going to defy the state and end the program no matter what, even if it means getting sued, because I think there are some things that are more important than being sued,” he continued. 

Police arrested Lawrence “Larry” Cantrell, 34, and Michael Inman, 70, over the weekend for allegedly raping a teen girl last week in a Motel 6 bedroom. 

Lawrence

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. Police say there may be more victims and are asking for help from the public. (El Cajon Police Department)

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

Cantrell was reportedly at the Motel 6 for several days leading up to the alleged crime, and prior to that he was removed from another hotel over an “altercation.” He reportedly admitted to officials he raped the girl and showed authorities a video of the crime he took on his phone. 

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Inman, who was arrested at a Days Inn in San Diego, also reportedly admitted to raping the girl, and told officials there were other victims in recent days.

Wells sounded the alarm on the voucher program back in September, calling out San Diego County on “Fox & Friends” for bussing homeless people to hotels in his city without his knowledge. 

“I said all along at that we’re going to have some kind of crisis as a result of that,” Wells said Tuesday. “Somebody is going to get hurt. Somebody’s going to get killed, and what happened this weekend was pretty horrible.” 

He noted that officials claimed there would be no registered sex offenders within the hotel voucher program, but the alleged tragedy proved otherwise. 

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He claims the city of San Diego has politically targeted El Cajon by placing as many as 50% of voucher recipients in hotels there, despite the fact El Cajon only accounts for 3% of the county’s population. 

“What we really object to is that they’re putting a lot of these people, a predominant number of these people, in our city,” Wells said. “I honestly believe the reason they’re doing that is because we have a very conservative city council.”

“We have a very conservative city, and we are not well liked by the very liberal county of San Diego Board of Supervisors, and so I think that’s why they’re doing that,” he continued. 

The El Cajon City Council will meet Tuesday to vote on next steps. 

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