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Civil rights activist group sues South Pasadena over ‘arbitrary and discriminatory’ sex offender ordinance

SOUTH PASADENA >> A civil rights activist group filed a lawsuit against South Pasadena this week, alleging the city’s sex offender ordinance strips “a socially outcast minority” of their First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Attorney Janice Bellucci, president of the California Reform Sex Offender Laws organization, called South Pasadena’s Title 20E-1 through 20E-10 municipal code arbitrary and discriminatory. The regulation was passed in 2009. Full Article

Also see:

South Pasadena Ordinance Challenged in Federal Court
South Pasadena agrees not to enforce city’s presence restrictions

Join the discussion

  1. Eric Knight

    Great article! Written in an informative, comprehensive manner, this is how reporting sex offender issues should be handled. Finally, a bit of “Zen” for our side!

    • VPSVS

      I don’t understand why the article ended with the below sentence, Did I miss something?

      The California Penal Code places restrictions on registered sex offenders but allows local ordinances to further restrict these individuals’ residency.

  2. G4Change

    Dear Ms. Highsmith:

    Please remember to dot both i’s in your name when you sign the big check that your client is about to write!

  3. Q

    I guess integrity with these city counsels shouldn’t be relied upon from here on out. No matter what they say they need to be bound by the legal system; that is to say, not a letter saying they’re not going to do this or they are going to do that, but a legal binding agreement.

  4. Mike

    Hello, I was wondering, if people who commit crimes of robbery and murder or kidnapping or other such crimes have a chance to pay there debt back to society, ie. jail time, probation or porole, and moneys to the county for court cost and such, but anyone who commits a sex crime or ALLEGED commit they can never be free to prove that this is either not who they are or have changed, but yet they have to go to counceling at $300 a mnth + one on one at another $300 a mnth and get a Certificate Of Reabilitation BUT still have to register for life, you have to know this don’t make sense, my aunt and uncle was murdered and he could walk the streets as though he is no threat! Plus the Government has already ran studys how many would commit again, 1.5 to 3.7 thats ever, WOW I would love to know your thoughts on this.

  5. USA

    This is terrible news! What if the guy convicted of touching a masseuse 19 years ago/expunged/summary probation goes to Pasadena and stares at someone while standing at the bus stop? So, does this mean I can potentially visit the bus stop, library, car dealership, pool, homeless shelter, grocery store and drive at night? Will Pasadena still require me to be implanted with a computer chip? Or, do I still have to call the police station every time I leave my home? Personally, I think these laws should remain (I wont have to worry about running into the gang members/recently released murderer/car jackers/or drug dealers at the local bus stop! Plus, I wont get mugged or stabbed at the local park? Did anyone ever think Pasadena might be protecting us from harm? Hmmm, what if I visit the local pool and get hit by lightening? Or, what If I walk to the local library (because I’m going for my second Master’s degree) and get hit by the recently released drunk driver who just spent time in prison for vehicular manslaughter! These laws are a joke and if you laughed at my last comments, thats how I feel about these laws as well. Its a JOKE! Maybe they should use the resources they are using to fight this joke and require Pasadena officers with cameras to insure they are doing their job properly!? Hmm

  6. Joe

    Here is a new wrinkle…

    “The South Pasadena Police Department released Wolf without pressing charges, saying that because he was convicted prior to the ordinance’s passing in 2009, it did not apply to him. ”

    What gives?

    http://www.losangelesregister.com/articles/sex-604720-offenders-pasadena.html

    • G4Change

      Even better!!! He should be able to sue for false arrest and for improperly publishing his name as a registered citizen since he’s not on the public Website.
      I would think that the civil and criminal penalties listed in PC 290 against those who harass registrants would also apply to a municipality and especially to law enforcement.
      This guy didn’t know it, but that day he was taking photos of a windfall!!!

    • mike

      That’s totally chicken$#!t! Registrants are the only group where they use this wishy-washy interpretation of Ex Post Facto to their advantage. If this controversy wasn’t in the defendants favor and he went to court, there is no way the DA and court would have made this decision in his favor. We’ve seen multiple cases where the Ex Post Facto Law has been distorted beyond recognition. I can’t help thinking anymore that ‘Justice is deaf, dumb, and blind.’.

    • Q

      What gives? They are trying to avoid getting sued; that’s what gives. If Janice didn’t act on this you can be sure the arrested registrant would have been left in jail and prosecuted. I believe Janice should go ahead and proceed with the lawsuit because if she just let’s it go South Pasadena will continue to disregard the law and will not keep their word. South Pasadena showed it’s true colors when this registrant was arrested. I believe he really wasn’t doing anything wrong, because if he was he would not have been released and we would be reading news reports of how on the ball the police in South Pasadena are in protecting the public from the dreaded and much hated sex offender.

      • Janice Bellucci

        A lawsuits has been filed against the City of South Pasadena and will not be dismissed unless and until the City either repeals or significantly revises it ordinance. The City’s future agreement not to enforce a law that violates the state and federal constitution as well as is preempted by state law would be unacceptable.

        • Q

          Good; glad to hear it. Something needs to be done on the federal level to these cities that are flipping the bird at the law. I think someone from the federal government here in California needs to go to each city and tell them to their face they must conform to state law. Most of us have been totally screwed by these highly questionable laws, yet most of us obey the law. I wonder what’s wrong with these cities for them to have such a flagrant disregard for state law.

  7. Brubaker

    A massive million dollars settlement to all registered would cause reform very quickly.

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