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CaliforniaLiving with 290


Three years ago, I was involved in an auto accident which shattered my ankle resulting in my having to take public transportation from Sylmar to Torrance which required two buses, two trains and then two more trains each way on cast and crutches for surgery and rehab. I registered in Van Nuys and at that time informed react (LAPD) that on the occasions that I would have to travel to Torrance I might spend the night with friends in Long Beach.

To make a long story short, I was arrested in Long Beach and charged with a failure to register and after I beat that case, I arrested in the San Fernando valley for the exact same thing even though I was able to prove that I was in compliance, it just took a few weeks and even though the law says that before a person can be found guilty, the state must prove that I willfully failed to register. I took my case to trial and was found guilty and just released after spending three years in prison at $50,000 a year plus the cost to prosecute.

I was released last Tuesday and had to register as a transient because there is no housing available in the entire San Fernando valley and I am still walking the streets with an ankle monitor and four pages of conditions and now they want to determine whether I should have to take sex offender treatment as well. It is frightening, stressful and terribly depressing.

Suggestion: the community should be allowed to open homes and the state should have to pay for the housing of sex offenders for at least six months at least. The cost is much cheaper than prison and the likelihood of successful reintegration makes for a safer community.

I used to run two re-entry transitional homes for high risk offenders and no one ever re-offended. I would be willing to share the details of why transitional housing should be made available.

Thank you for hearing me.

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  1. guest

    All caps?

  2. mch

    The really sad part is that you’re just a statistic to them to prove their skewed recidivism numbers and continue the fear factor to the gullible public who think they’re being protected.

  3. Someone who cares

    So, are you not supposed to stay overnight anywhere without permission? Also, I agree that this should have never been considered a crime, as you did not willfully fail to register. This is completely unfair.

  4. Q

    Transitional housing to help the ex-offender reintegrate into society makes sense and is probably better for law enforcement and everyone else involved; Nawww- never happen here in the stupid state.

  5. USA

    No offense, but I’m a little skeptical about your story. First, you register in LA County? Now, why would you inform the LAPD you where travelling to Torrance? I’m not aware of any laws requiring anyone to be informed if you are travelling to another city? So, you travelled to Torrance to attend a Dr’s appointment and then went to a friends home in Long Beach? Now, how did they find you in Long Beach? I’m presently in the process of performing a rehab on my home. I live in ie: Cypress California? Now, my home might be uninhabitable for 8-10 months? I’ve been wondering about the same thing. My primary home is in Cypress, but I will no longer be living there. So, in the mean time, I might move in with my sister in law in Long Beach? Should I just register in Long Beach? Hmm. Here is what I’m going to do. I will email and call the DOJ and ask them?

    • Q


      Perhaps you could rent a RV and park it on your property. That way you can avoid having to get LE all confused; your sister in law won’t have to be put on the spot with her neighbors because the cops are coming over to check you out, and you can keep an eye on your home while it’s being worked on. The main thing is you won’t have to un-register in Cypress, re register in LB, and then do it all again when the work on your house is finished.

    • Mark V

      To the Skeptics, The bottom line is that a registrant must inform law enforcement of all known locations and addresses where one might frequent for purposes of “keeping tabs” on us. My concern was that on occasion I might not be found at the Sylmar location following the doctor’s appointments in Torrance. I fulfilled my obligation when I annually informed Van Nuys law enforcement of my current residence and then provided them with the one in Long Beach [LB]. The assisting officer failed to note that it was an annually registration and incorrectly indicated that I was moving to LB. In addition, the law provides that one must inform law enforcement whenever one ‘changes’ residence which suggests ‘moving.’ There is also case law which defines residence as a place where one maintains and intends to return as opposed to a place where one stays during a trip or transient visit. I should not have been found guilty as a result. Although I did as instructed by Van Nuys and registered in LB shortly thereafter, I was ultimately arrested in LB for not living there [which by then I was], and then a warrant was issued in San Fernando for failing to register within five days which is what I am currently appealing. It is okay to be a skeptic but please understand that sometimes the laws are unconstitutionally vague and subject to discriminatory enforcement. That’s all I ask.

  6. USA

    No offense, but my offense was 18 years ago. First, I truly feel terrible for your issue, but I’ve done everything I could possibly do in order to clean up my background. 17 (B), expungement ect ect. I still have to register, but I do my homework. Now, if you have to move into another city, you must register whats called an associate address. I just called the DOJ. The woman on the line sounded asleep and like it was no big deal. So, when I move out for a while, I will register an associate address and when the work is done, delete it.

  7. NPS

    Didn’t they just determine (barely two months ago) that you cannot retroactively mandate someone to go into sex offender treatment programs?

  8. USA

    I don’t buy the story. I think there is more to the story than meets the eye. Sorry.

  9. Jason Wilson

    This sucks. How is this any good for the community? You are a monster? I don’t think so. Who really is the monster here? Our Justice system. It’s broken, and it’s run by a bunch of idiots. I have to “comply citizen”. I was in your shoes once, sorta. I was homeless, with an ankle monitor. I did have a car… but i was in a county where i could hide my car fairly well. It was an older model car, huge trunk.. i could fit all my things and my bike in the truck. I was lucky to have it.. and had friends the helped me out with gas money. Luckily for me also, i had my computer access.. something they tried to take from me.

    Hang in there, document as much as you can about your situation. It’s sounding more and more like you will one day see justice FOR you, not against you.

  10. Q

    Where’d the caps go?

  11. Austin

    Question – Did, at any time, the officials who you informed about your travels tell you it was not necessary to re-register with any other agencies? If they did, then that is what is called entrapment by estoppel and should have been used in your defense. Please read further: –

    • Mark V

      What I most recently learned was that if I had gone back to Van Nuys law enforcement with proof that I was in compliance, instead of San Fernando court, I would most likely ‘not’ have been incarcerated. That really sucks. The legal issue is still being challenged on habeas and I hope to attract the district court but I know the odds.

  12. Anonymous Nobody

    It would be helpful is the OP would provide a few more details so we readers can understand what happened. Of course, in the end he is now out and the point about housing is clear.

    But as for what happened, if you were not on parole (since you got three years for failure to register, that means your original offense was a felony, so you might have been on parole when this happened, Possibly you notifying LAPD had something to do with conditions of parole?), then you did not have to tell LAPD that you might be staying in Long Beach over night once in a while. You should only have to inform LAPD if you change your residence (meaning, move out of LA). Still, no harm in telling them. The problem here is that if you did stay in Long Beach, and from time to time, that is, “regularly,” then you had to register in Long Beach. You never told us if you actually registered there.

    You said Long Beach arrested you, but you “beat that case.” Then you say LA arrested you “for the same thing.” This is very confusing — LA has no case against you if you fail to register in Long Beach, only Long Beach has that, and you said you “beat” the Long Beach case. Of course, if Long Beach had an arrest warrant out, LA could pick you up, but you didn’t say that. And you say you got convicted after the LA arrest — although you already said you beat the Long Beach case, so you leave us to read this as a Los Angeles case on which you got convicted. Well, you never told us anything about that — you already indicated you were registered, so if so, how do you get convicted for not registering if you’re registered?! That’s kind of important information for we readers if we are to follow what you are saying.

    Are you saying that you told LAPD you might stay in Long Beach once in a while but you never registered in Long Beach? If so, then how is it that Long Beach dropped that case against you — but apparently later had a warrant out and prosecuted you and won? If that is the scenario, that it is Long Beach that prosecuted you, then you misled we readers by saying you “beat that case,” as you never “beat that case,” they simply took a little more time before they pursued it — possibly while they were reviewing the term “regularly,” which no one knows how to define other than that it is more than one night or maybe more than one time.

    In the end, it seems that your attempt to comply with the registration rules — as mistaken as the attempt was — by informing LAPD but not realizing you were required to go to a different agency and register there only supports what I have said in various threads here for some time: 290 is far too voluminous — from the looks of it, possibly the most voluminous of any law — and such an ungodly number of court cases interpreting an uncountable number of details — from the looks of it, possibly more interpretations that any other law ever — and the Legislature making changes to it every single year so that what you knew last year no longer applies, that no one, not even the lawyers or the judges, can comprehend it all. I see in appellate opinions all the time serious points that the court just did not understand – it is shocking.

    If even the lawyers and judges can’t follow it all, how ever can a typical registrant, or a less educated registrant, stand any chance? How can any such registrant manage to stay out of jail or prison for their rest of their lives faced with this unfathomable law and the consequences for even the most minor and irrelevant violations of it?

    For this reason, as I have contended before, 290 should be found to be unconstitutionally vague. If it is too much to know and understand and follow and comply with, then it is too vague. Its sheer volume makes it too vague.

    • Mark V

      Yes, there are many details not mentioned but you are absolutely correct when you conclude that the current laws can be unconstitutionally vague and as I said earlier, subject discriminatory enforcement. You are well-informed.

  13. USA

    I concur anonymous. The laws are crazy and rather vague. What if I live in OC and stay at a girlfriends. In Pasadena on the weekends? Now , if this is a regular thing, I would probably have to register in that jurisdiction? Although , what if I leave for the weekends and go. ? Ie; Vegas? Bicycle races? Motorcycle riding?

    • Tim

      It’s anal. The whole freaking population has gone anal worrying where sex offenders are.

    • Mark V

      From what I have taught myself about the current laws is that if you visit another county overnight, you have no obligation to register, however, if you stay for more than that, you must register within that county within five days. The other thing to also learn is that there is a question of intent. In order for a conviction for failing to register to stand, the prosecution must prove that not only did you fail to register but that you did so with full knowledge of your obligations and ‘willfully’ failed to register. This is the basis of my current appeal. It is difficult to keep abreast of the changing laws until something happens to you. Two words to be afraid of…public defender!

  14. USA

    So, the point is this! If your not on probation or parole and someone comes to your door or your stopped , don’t answer questions! I had a compliance check many years ago . The guy started asking questions ! I responded , “I don’t answer questions!”. I closed the door! It’s none of their business. If you where to read all of the laws active today, then you would realize we all break the law one way or another daily. The cops wouldn’t be asking questions unless they where looking for something! Furthermore, the LAPD is so overwhelmed with work that it’s a miracle when they can make an arrest. Crimes are being committed every minute of the day. Go online and search the Megan laws website and search LA County ! Look at the numbers . They don’t have the time!

    • Mark V

      You are absolutely correct. Nothing upsets the neighbors like law enforcement poking around with your website picture asking questions.

  15. USA

    Again , here is another example of a sex offender attempting to portray themselves as a victim ! In most countries , if you don’t have money, you don’t receive healthcare. How on earth have you been arrested so many times ? Also, no one on earth is going to call the LAPD and say , I’ll be staying in LB ? It doesn’t ad up. Lastly, everyone on this website keeps stating, the registry isn’t fair ? It isn’t. Start writing about some success stories ! California just stated the believe almost no one should remain on the registry for life! This is huge! Change will take place !

    • Mark V

      No one is claiming to be a victim. I am a survivor of 25 years of injustice and one day soon that story will be made public. In the meanwhile, the purpose of posting is to bring to the attention of those interested in reform, examples of what is broken or in need of repair. The fact that you have read these postings is show a vested interest in what is happening out there. Those who suffer the most rarely speak up rather, they just deal with it. I am not content to sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

  16. C A

    What’s your status now Mark?

    Remember Avenal? The supreme court instructed the trial court to hear my habeas petition, which was granted after “careful” consideration. No parole, no registration, etc.

    For those questioning Mark’s details, I’ve read his supporting documentation, motions, etc. He was wronged in every way on his case. I am a fairly good judge of that since my story is even more incredible than his, as he could attest.

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