Registered sex offender Frank Lindsay today challenged an ordinance adopted by the City of Hesperia which prohibits him and all other registered citizens from visiting public and private locations as well as residing within that city.  The lawsuit was filed after the City Council of Hesperia considered, but failed, to repeal or revise its ordinance on July 15.

The scope of the City’s ordinance is broad and includes restrictions regarding where more than 105,000 individuals can be present.  Specifically, the ordinance prohibits registered citizens from being present in or within 500 feet of a wide range of locations including the public library, schools, parks,bus stops, restaurants and movie theaters.  The Ordinance also prohibits registered citizens from staying in most hotels or motels within the city limits.  A registered citizen who violates the ordinance is subject to incarceration for a period of one year and/or a fine of $1,000 for each violation.

“The lawsuit filed today against the City of Hesperia is unique because it personally names City Council members who acted outside the scope of their authority by ignoring recent appellate court decisions which determined that similar ordinances were preempted by state law,” stated CA RSOL President and attorney Janice Bellucci.  “In addition, one of the Council members threatened physical violence upon all registered citizens and issued a call to arms during the recent Council meeting.”

Hesperia City Manager Mike Podegracz and City Attorney Eric Dunn recommended that the City Council revise the city’s sex offender ordinance in a report dated July 15, 2014.  Their recommendation was based, in part, upon recent appellate court decisions and a threat of litigation from California RSOL.

The first lawsuit filed by Lindsay challenging a sex offender was against the City of Pomona and was filed in federal court on March 24.  Subsequent lawsuits were filed in federal court against South Lake Tahoe (March 31), National City (April 8), Carson (April 11), Lompoc (April 21), Sacramento County (April 30), Santa Ana (May 7), Wasco (May 15), Ontario (May 21), Stockton (May 27), Taft (May 29), Orange (June 17), Beaumont (June 24), and Adelanto (July 21).  Of that total, lawsuits against the City of Pomona, South Lake Tahoe and Lompoc have reached final settlement.  Settlements are pending in four additional cities.

Updated with Links to Media Coverage:

Hesperia sued by sex offender (Hesperia Star)
Hesperia sued by sex offender (Victorville Daily Press – same?)

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Aren’t WE ALL harmed by the statements of that alleged public servant (s) ….????.. the statement (s) were on ALL ‘sex’ offenders.

Frank Lindsay is a victim of burglary, assault, and battery vis-a-vis the Megan’s Law website, and which is documented in police reports, hearings, and sentencing records. How dare the council members of Hesperia make such outrageous threats against Mr. Lindsay. Hasn’t he suffered enough violence and aggression? And now he must fear for his life at the hands of municipal officers? Shame on the City of Hesperia! Even if their comments were not meant to be taken seriously, common law has long established that intent to harm not be required to prove intent to inflict emotional distress. The post-traumatic anxiety that such hateful speech must have conjured up in poor Mr. Lindsay! Mr. Lindsay is a reformed individual who has paid his debt to society and only seeks the very same Constitutional protections that every individual American takes for granted every day – when we walk down the street, when we drive to a restaurant, when come and go to worm – what more can Mr. Lindsay petition than for the same kind of common decency that allows all members of a free society to seek the same thing: ‘For we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…”

Just a thought;

Perhaps there is someone in Sacramento who would find the statements made at the Hesperia counsel meeting interesting? I tries to grab the video with several video downloaders and none of them worked; bummer!

I find it ironic that Hesperia rhymes with hysteria. This council is out of control especially given that there is no evidence that registries even lead to a decrease in sex-related crime.

I am a sex crime defense attorney and was recently quoted in an article about the proposed changes to CA registration. My firm supports these proposed changes.

A registry is based on the supposition that monitoring existing offenders in the community will decrease the risk of re-offending. However, Department of Justice figures show us that sex offenses are committed by someone a child knows – in 93% of cases, it’s an acquaintance or family member.

According to the 2010 census, Hesperia had a population of a little over 90,000. 23.1 % live below the federal poverty level. 76.6% had a 12th grade or higher education and 10.1% had a bachelors or higher. This is compared to 80% and 30% respectively for the state population as a whole. According to the city’s latest financial report, the major employer is the school district with 2000 employees. All other employers make up about another 2000. The vast majority of people work somewhere else. The city’s revenues came in at $92.1 million, expenditures at $98.7 million a deficit.
With the major employer also being a liability, the city must rely on property taxes and subsidies from state and federal sources to stay afloat. So the posture of city council makes sense on economic grounds. If you can exclude people on the registry from residential areas, you keep already low property values from falling even further. This also keeps low wage earning registrants out of their city, another financial plus, thia you can not do legally to any other group , that is, exclude them because of class. Showing they are tough on crime can attract other susidies. This whining about federal and state mandates is often another tactic localities use to beg for more money from higher government. Combine this with an uneducated population and it’s easy to see why these councilman defend these ordinances. Take away the public registry and the symptoms of it, the local ordinances, will also disappear. Former registrants can earn more money, places where they live will have higher property values, and public safety will not suffer.

Also maybe we need to back up the stick with a carrot. Lawsuits followed by advocacy for better education. I’m in favor of turning the grants used to encourage the incarceration of more people into educational grants to deal with the problem of child abuse in the home and institution, using other than punitive means. Hey, America is a place of innovation, I think we forget that in a mad rush to punish. This race to the bottom to drive whole classes of people to subsistence levels can’t be good for anyone except those who hold shares in the prisons/industrial complex. Eventually, when the masses come knocking on their doors demanding food, then not even them.