A Meeting With The Owners|
Of 47998 Lake Irene Drive
47998 Lake Irene Drive in Newberry Springs is the
proposed site for the settlement of Lawtis Donald Rhoden, 72, a man
who has spent much of his life in California behind bars for a multiple
of violent sexual penetrations of young girls in 1984.
Lawtis Rhoden's span of pathological
is recorded going back to 1969 where he left a destructive pedophilia
path in Florida and Tennessee. He was sentenced for raping a
13-year-old girl. After serving his time, and while released on
parole, he assaulted four additional children.
After release from Tennessee and moving to Southern
California, he was convicted in 1984 for more rapes of children in
Los Angeles and Orange counties. After serving mucho prison time,
an Orange County judge might now release this repeat child offender to
the Candyland of Newberry Springs.
Here are a few of Rhoden's offenses snipped from the
decision of the PEOPLE v. RHODEN No. G048677 ~ Court of Appeals of
California, Fourth District, Division Three. Filed January 15, 2016.
In June 1966, Frances B. met Rhoden at a party and agreed
to walk with him through a nearby university campus. As they walked by a
construction site, Rhoden pulled out a knife, held it to her throat, and
threatened to hurt her unless she followed his instructions. He forced her
into the construction site and told her to remove her clothes. He held the
knife to her throat as he raped her. He later walked her back to her apartment.
Frances filed a police report and subsequently identified Rhoden in a lineup.
After speaking with the district attorney, however, she decided not to press
charges because she was ashamed and did not believe the district attorney
In April 1984, 14-year-old Tina S. was walking to school
when Rhoden, who was in his early 30's, drove his car in front of her and
blocked her path. Through the driver's side window, Rhoden told her that
he was a photographer and asked her if he could take modeling photographs
of her. She refused and tried to walk around his car. Rhoden got out of his
car, grabbed her arm, and pulled her into the car. Tina tried to escape,
but Rhoden locked the doors and drove to a secluded parking structure.
Rhoden raped Tina. As he did, Tina cried and told him to stop, but Rhoden
said, "Shut up and just let me finish." Later, Rhoden drove Tina to school
and gave her $40. Rhoden subsequently pleaded guilty to forcible rape charges.
In June 1984, 17-year old Christina S. was walking home
when Rhoden drove his car next to her on the street. As he sat in the car,
Rhoden asked her if she was interested in taking modeling photographs with
him. Christina got into his car, and he drove to a secluded carport. Rhoden
raped Christina. Later, Rhoden drove her back to the street and gave her $20.
A jury convicted Rhoden of rape by force, forceful sexual penetration, and
If this statistic is correct,
multiply Rhoden's known rapes by 4.
In June 1984, 14-year-old Kathryn L. was walking home
when Rhoden drove his car next to her and motioned for her to speak with
him. Kathryn initially refused but eventually acquiesced when Rhoden called
out to her. Rhoden told Kathryn that he was a photographer and asked if she
wanted to participate in a modeling photoshoot. Rhoden's girlfriend, who
was in the car, encouraged Kathryn to participate. Kathryn agreed, and
Rhoden drove to a supermarket parking lot where his girlfriend got out of
the car. He drove away with Kathryn. At a stoplight, Kathryn reached for
the door handle to escape, but Rhoden said, "`I wouldn't do that if I were
you.'" Kathryn felt threatened and remained in the car. Rhoden drove to a
secluded area. Rhoden leaned Kathryn against the car door and raped her.
When she told him to stop and tried to push him off, Rhoden said, "`Just
let me finish.'" Later, Rhoden drove Kathryn to a street near her house
and gave her $20. A jury convicted Rhoden of forcible rape.
In December 1984, 13-year-old Kimberly W. met Rhoden in
a motel room to take part in what she believed was a modeling photoshoot.
Rhoden took several photographs of Kimberly in lingerie. He performed oral
sex on her and raped her. During the rape, Kimberly repeatedly told him to
stop and at one point kicked him. He masturbated and ejaculated onto her.
Afterward, Rhoden promised to buy Kimberly a computer if she agreed not
to tell her mother what he had done to her. A jury convicted Rhoden of rape
and the use of a minor for obscene purposes.
Just 7-days prior to Rhoden's sentence release in 2004 for
his known damages in California, the Orange County District Attorney
filed a Sexually Violent Predator ("SVP") petition and substantiated
to a jury that Rhoden had the propensity to continue assaulting young girls
and that Rhoden was qualified under the state's Sexually Violent Predator
Act (SVPA) (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 6600 et seq.). This allowed
the state to maintain custody of Rhoden in a state mental hospital.
"The SVPA authorizes the state to civilly commit persons
found to be sexually violent predators (SVP's) after they conclude their
prison terms. (§ 6604.) Section 6600, subdivision (a)(1), defines
a sexually violent predator as "a person who has been convicted of a sexually
violent offense against one or more victims and who has a diagnosed mental
disorder that makes the person a danger to the health and safety of others
in that it is likely that he or she will engage in sexually violent criminal
behavior." Commitment is for an indeterminate term. (§ 6604.)
Department of State Hospitals must examine the committed person's mental
condition at least annually. (§ 6604.9, subd. (a)." ~ From Rhoden's
Jan. 16, 2020.
Rhoden subsequently shopped and acquired a doctor that
opined during an annual review that Rhoden can be eligible for a conditional
47998 Lake Irene Drive Newberry Springs, CA 92365
Click photo to enlarge aerial view of proposed SVP site.
On Saturday, August 7, 2021, I stopped by the residence
of William and Schellie Petropoulos in the community of Spring Valley Lake
(Victorville). I had previously left a voicemail on a telephone number
I have for them but I never received a response.
The Petropoulos' have the ownership of the house at
47998 Lake Irene Drive titled under a third-party name, Godisgood, Inc.,
a non-profit corporation based in Mesa, Arizona.
With the firestorm in Newberry over Liberty Healthcare
Corporation's proposed placement of Lawtis Rhoden at the Lake Irene
address, I was left wondering if these absentee owners fully understood
how they were negatively impacting the community of Newberry.
Upon arrival at their residence on Pinehurst Trail,
I took a photo from the street with my cell phone before approaching
the well-groomed 2,720 square foot house.
My knocks on their front door at 2 P.M. were answered
by Schellie Petropoulos. I introduced myself and stated that
I would like to speak with her regarding her property in Newberry
She asked what I was doing there and I repeated that
I wanted to talk to her about her Newberry house. She then silently
looked very flustered which transitioned into a strange evil-eye stare.
Then, after a few moments without saying anything, she slammed
the door shut!
At that point, I thought, Wow! ...that it was a wasted
But not to be denied, I waited for about 30-seconds and
tapped three times on the door. After briefly waiting, I started
to leave when I heard the door opening behind me. It was William
I again introduced myself and William appeared
interested in understanding my purpose for visiting his residence
and how I found his address. He stepped outside the door
and we spoke for a few minutes. I suspect that in filing
the title of the Lake Irene Drive address under a different name,
that he didn't expect people to know where he lived.
Our discussion was revealing in that he doesn't have
any empathy for the residents of Newberry Springs. He stated
that if the residents didn't like the idea of a Sexually Violent
Predator moving into his Newberry Springs house that they could
attend the Fullerton court hearing on September 2nd and voice
He spoke with a cocky confidence that Rhoden would
be a resident of Newberry soon.
District Attorney Jason Anderson speaks at the Newberry
Springs Town Hall meeting on August 4, 2021, while directly behind
him are Congressman Jay Obernolte and Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus.
Barstow mayor Dr. Paul Anthony Courtney in the striped shirt stands
in the doorway.
I described to Mr. Petropoulos about the August 4th
meeting in Newberry Springs and the deep concerns of the residents.
I informed him of the sentiments I heard at that meeting.
As I have previously worked for the Southern California insurance
industry for many years as an expert in forensic photography, I
suggested to him that having insurance would be a good idea if
he didn't have any.
BINGO! My conversation with William did not
proceed much further. Mrs. Petropoulos, who apparently was hiding
and listening behind the front door, reappeared and started belligerently
claiming that I had just threatened to burn her house down!
I informed her that I only suggested the prudence of
insurance and that there was no reference to fire, but she irrationally
dug her heels in.
In an argumentative and agitative voice, she began
to constantly interfere with my discussion with her husband.
She was anything but cordial. She would get in my face
interjecting that Rhoden had served his sentence and that he should
be allowed to live wherever he wanted, that he was entitled to
rehabilitation, that I didn't have a right to come to her house,
that she wanted me off of her property.
As she was being assaultive and irrational, I was
waiting for her husband to speak up. Unfortunately, he allowed
his wife to dominate.
As William wasn't interrupting his wife's tirade
and as I wasn't being able to talk further with William, I started
to depart upon Schellie's insistence. As I was moving the very
short distance to the street, their adult son came from the house to
act like his mommy's enforcer. He had probably been behind
the door also.
As the scene had turned ridiculously crazy, I
departed the comedy realizing that nothing was going to be accomplished
with these people. As I drove off, their son was standing in the
street with his cell phone video recording my departure.
I waved. I hope that he has many enjoyable hours of video
One can go nuts trying to decipher what is going on.
There would seem to be an unholy alliance between the Petropoulos'
and Liberty Healthcare Corporation. People have informed me
of some interesting facts found on the Internet about the Petropoulos
family, their businesses, and even alleged tens of thousands of
dollars collected in PPP stimulus funds.
What appears dominant is these people are about
the money and they don't care about Newberry Springs nor their impact
upon innocent children.
Schellie Petropoulos was a registered nurse
in California until she allowed her license to expire in
February 2020. I normally find nurses compassionate
towards people. She didn't exhibit the characteristics
that I had expected. (Photo circa 2013.)
Why purchase a tiny house for reportedly
$100,000 cash in remote Newberry Springs if one is not planning
to live in it? I believe that it was a cash transfer because
no trust deed appears to have been recorded.
According to a 2017 Youtube
Liberty Healthcare states that it costs (taxpayers) approximately
$163,000 per year in California for the rent and services for an
SVP. The more recent San Diego report (top video link) indicates
That is a juicy amount and the SVP
rent for the
Lake Irene Drive house is probably many times more than the going
rate. Liberty has been paying up to $4,000 a month rental fee
for some of the small SVP houses. If the Petropoulos' are
currently receiving that while waiting for Rhoden's arrival, they
should have their house purchase funds back in just over two
years, then the rent is clear profit.
As for William and Schellie Petropoulos, my impression
is that the placement of a sexual timebomb in our community is solely
for their financial windfall. Their attitude appears
to be that any collateral damage to our children is our problem.
Did Schellie make a Liberty Healthcare
connection as a nurse and intentionally purchased the Lake
Irene house for the high rate of return that Liberty Healthcare
pays to place an SVP tenant?
It has only been loose talk at this time but
there has been some discussion of having a short picketing event
in front of the Petropoulos home in Spring Valley Lake to attract
Southland TV coverage on Orange County's attempt to use San
Bernardino County as a dumping ground for that county's
dangerous sexual deviants.
The Petropoulos residence is about 62-miles
from the Newberry Springs Post Office. Anyone interested
in bringing the matter to the Petropoulos doorstep, please
announce yourself through the e-mail link below. If
enough people show an interest, a demonstration might take
While my visit with William and Schellie
Petropoulos didn't achieve the breakthrough that I had hoped
for, I did find it beneficial. I didn't know if these
absentee landowners were aware of the uproar that they
have raised in Newberry.
Sometimes, it just takes some willingness
to communicate. In this case, I have learned that the
Petropoulo$ apparently do know and that they just don't care.
It appears to be about their profit and the people of Newberry
As my Meandering  thoughts
could be wrong, and as this is an important matter, after my
visit I snail-mailed William Petropoulos a two-page letter
in which I have provided additional information about Rhoden,
our community, and an opportunity to come together for a
resolution. While my hope is high, I am not holding
Discrimination against Newberry Springs.
It is not justice for Liberty Healthcare,
a multi-million dollar for-profit company, to dump their accepted
problems on an uninvolved, economically depressed community
that has inadequate law enforcement response times, a lack
of security street lighting, and poor cellular connectivity.
Liberty Healthcare's action is highly discriminatory
in that Newberry Springs is severely disadvantaged and is lacking in
a high density of parks, schools, recreation centers, churches,
libraries, and other elements that interfere with the placement
of Mr. Rhoden elsewhere.
The proposed housing site in Newberry is only a
stone's throw to three public school bus stops, and
a busy Interstate passenger vehicle and truck fueling center that
provides eating and restroom facilities. Seeing this activity
close by will be an invigorating stimulus for the way a paraphilia
The consideration of the placement of Mr. Rhoden in
Newberry Springs is emotionally unsettling and it is already causing
fear which is victimizing residents.
The psychological impact of having Rhoden in Newberry
would be like living with an explosive bomb and not knowing when it
will go off. And the chances are that it will go off. The
placement of Rhoden in Newberry is against Social Justice and would
clearly represent discrimination by the court!
Has the Law been followed?
Sexually Violent Predators are supposed to
be only released within the county of their crime(s) or
conviction(s). A state weasel clause allows a judge
to consider elsewhere only if there is an extraordinary
In the case of Rhoden, Liberty Healthcare
claims that a placement site within the county of crime or
conviction cannot be found. In Rhoden's case, both
Orange County and Los Angeles County are eligible
jurisdictions for Rhoden's placement.
Understandably, finding a place for an SVP
in compact Orange County would present challenges but what
about Los Angeles? It seems absurd that an Orange
County judge would accept Liberty Healthcare's claim that
Liberty Healthcare has exhausted all possibilities in both
What has Liberty Healthcare done in
searching L.A. County? L.A. has a massive High Desert
area with hundreds of square miles of open desert.
Can't a site be located to establish a trailer for Mr.
Rhoden? At over $163,000 a year, is Liberty Healthcare
scamming the court?
I would like to see the evidence of Liberty's
L.A. County site search. Is it incompetence and contempt
of court on the part of Liberty to claim that a site in the
Los Angeles county's desert isn't available? Or is it
incompetence on the court's part in taking Liberty's self-serving
If the court relies upon Liberty Healthcare's
word that they have diligently researched L.A. County, and if
Rhoden is placed in San Bernardino County, can San Bernardino
County sue Liberty for the recovery of damages resulting in
The alleged misrepresentation has already cost
San Bernardino County considerable resources in attempting
to block the placement of Rhoden in both Twentynine Palms
and Newberry Springs. More SVPs are probably
on the horizon.
The decision to place Lawtis Rhoden in
Newberry Springs is currently set to be heard in the courtroom
of Judge Megan Wagner on September 2, 2021, at the Fullerton
Courthouse - North Justice Center at 1:45 P.M.
The address is 1275 N. Berkeley Ave, Fullerton,
CA 92832. This is approximately 125 miles from the Newberry
Springs Post Office.
Be aware that there is a chance that the
time or courtroom may be changed or the matter continued.
At the time of this publication, I believe
that the bus transportation on September 2nd to the Fullerton
courthouse is being arranged through Victor Valley Transit.
Some residents have already signed up at the Town Hall meeting.
Those who missed the early sign-up will be able to do so soon
on a first-come basis.
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Related news videos on Sexually Violent Predators
and what is happening in San Diego County.
August 5, 2019
California's Changing Laws And Treatment
Programs For Sexually Violent Predators
August 6, 2019
Experimental Treatment Allows SVP Release
August 2, 2021
People Protesting Placement of SVP In Community
Septemmber 17, 2020 ~ Sexually Violent Predator from
another county may be released in Pauma Valley.
Borrego Springs a reflection of Newberry.