A lawsuit challenging a sex offender ordinance adopted by Sacramento County was filed today in federal district court. This lawsuit is the sixth in a series of lawsuits challenging sex offender ordinances adopted by local governments that prohibit the presence of registered citizens within their jurisdictions.
“Sacramento County adopted an ordinance that violates both the state and federal constitutions,” stated attorney Janice Bellucci. “The ordinance is also preempted by state law as determined by the California Court of Appeal in the Nguyen and Godinez cases. The California Supreme Court denied review of those cases and therefore they serve as precedent within the state of California.”
Prior lawsuits were filed against the City of Pomona (March 24), the City of South Lake Tahoe (March 31), National City (April 8), the City of Carson (April 11) and the City of Lompoc (April 21).
“The ordinance adopted by Sacramento County is based upon two myths: (1) that registered citizens have a high rate of re-offense and (2) that strangers commit most sexual assaults,” stated attorney Chance Oberstein. “The facts are that registered citizens on parole commit a second sex offense at the low rate of only 1.8 percent and that more than 90 percent of sexual assaults upon children are committed not by strangers, but instead by family members, teachers, coaches, and the clergy.”
Prior to today’s filing, several cities and one county have repealed their sex offender ordinances. The cities include Lancaster, Palmdale, Lake Forest, and El Centro. The county is El Dorado County.
“Future legal challenges to sex offender ordinances adopted by cities and counties that restrict the presence of registered citizens within their jurisdictions can be expected,” stated Bellucci.