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Critics of Carson’s sex offender laws say they are too strict

For Frank Lindsay, the city of Carson feels like an obstacle course whenever he visits his relatives. He makes sure to stay clear of all city parks. If he’s hungry, he avoids the local McDonald’s, which includes a playground for toddlers. The library, where children have reading time, is off-limits. So is the local mall, which has a play lighthouse for youngsters to climb. Full Article

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  1. anonymously

    Similar to how Saudi Arabia can thumb their nose at western morality and discard the riights of women, gays, those publicly critical of Sharia law, the City of Carson rich from oil revenue, discard the rights of others. Yet, with the price of oil declining about a 1/3, Halliburton just laid off 5000 people, fracking industry hurting from the low price of oil, maybe Carson can get back to reality that they are part of America and not Saudi Arabia.

  2. Bluewall

    “I know its a fine line but I like err on the side of caution”

    In that case everyone should be on the registration

  3. Robert Curtis

    Lets have a civil disobedience march in one of their parks. In fact get a permit from the city before doing it and if they deny the permit file suite again. If all 106,000 registrants show up to march…what can they do?

    This is a child safety issue the registrant’s children are the ones put in danger by disallowing their first line of defense from harm (their parent).

  4. Q

    I suspect Carson will turn out like all the other cities with similar obstinacy issues; they’ll end up taking their spanking and conforming to state law. I think Janice is right that they are posturing and wasting taxpayer $$$$. Notice how they made sure to call Frank a “child molester” in the beginning of the article? The statistical information and some truths were at the end of the article; I think this was planned. They are acting outside and against state law. and I wonder why some state agency doesn’t call them on this.

    • Janice Bellucci

      It will be the courts, not a state agency, that require the City of Carson to obey the laws as interpreted by the courts. It is very telling that members of the City Council during their meeting on August 5, 2014, acknowledged that the courts had already ruled that ordinances similar to their ordinance were preempted by state law. The City Council went on to say that they were choosing to ignore the courts’ decisions. One City Council member, who has now been elected to the CA Assembly, stated that the Supreme Court was wrong when it let stand the Court of Appeals decision that overturned a similar ordinance in the City of Irvine. We are looking forward to Carson’s day of judgment which is scheduled for June 11.

      • Q

        They need to/must be brought into line with the law. Am I witnessing the beginnings of the breakdown of the system? It seems to me that should enough cities and towns refuse to acknowledge and abide by state law we’ll have anarchy.

        • Jim

          They’ve already lost the knowledge of the constitution why should the obey the laws?

      • Robert Curtis

        Janice The City of Carson is a contract city with the LA Sheriff’s Department. Is the LA Sheriff’s Department held liable if they enforce a city ordinance that conflicts with court rulings? What I’m asking is their law enforcable if that law was found unlawful in the courts? So, if a registrant went to a park or library in Carson will law enforcement be compelled to enforce or not?

      • j

        Does there exist anywhere in Carson enough level headed citizens to deny this gang of hooligans on the city council the right to rebuke state rulings?

        What about the cost of this effort when there are most likely better ways to apply the city funds? What about the misuse of time and wrongheaded priorities that essentially account to creating and supporting Jim Crow laws?

        Ad nauseum, these constitutional midgets should simply be confined to the sandbox of governance and leave complicated issues such as rehabilitation and adjudication to the rightful and qualified entity – the state…

  5. Clark

    That city just doesn’t understand it’s Wrong…it’s illegal ……..they need to face a massive multimillion dollar claim for their wrongs to all of us.

  6. Michael

    Offer no quarter or olive branches. Take no prisoners.
    THEY wouldn’t.

  7. Mark (father of 2)

    I am father of 2 young children.

    Child Molestation is a serious crime, with untold lifelong devastating effects on children, lasting for generations.

    Once you have proved you can not be trusted with children, and have been convicted of Child Molestation , all bets should be off.

    I am baffled with all supportive comments above, in favor of convicted “CHILD MOLESTERS”

    Can anyone argue with the fact, that once you are convicted as a “Child Molester”, you should be severely restricted from contact with more children.

    Restrictioion on “Molsters” movements may be the only deternt, we have left as a free society, to curb this sort of behavior.

    • Timmr (father of three wise children)

      Having children doesn’t make us experts on child abuse, but I do have to say, in general, that those convicted of sexual crimes have learned a whole lot more about how to control themselves and not to offend, than the general population. And they have seen the devastation it causes first hand and can speech from knowledge. That, I believe, is why 95% of the new crimes are committed by people not on the registry and the re-offense rate is 1.3% of all sexual offenders released from prison on parole, according the California Corrections Department. You will find similar studies in other government reports.
      I think these park bans and similar attempts to dehumanize people are actually a hindrance to those now committing child abuse, because most of these abuses occur in the home by people they know. And the very small percent who repeat offend will ignore the bans anyway. For those few you will need something more effective than a park ban. For the vast majority, these presence bans and other unproven techniques, make it harder for them and their loved ones to report the abuse or to seek treatment for their behavior, knowing that they all, offenders and family alike, will suffer twice and to the nth power, because of the disclosure and shaming thanks to public humiliation fueled by fear without reason.

      • Q

        Hi Timmr;

        I can’t help but wonder if Mark (father of 2) would have the same feelings when his children get old enough to date and their God given sexual instinct starts to awaken, and one of them start having sex with whoever they happen to be going out with, or they start sexting. Lets say the mother or father disapproves and calls the police.

        I wonder how Mark (father of 2) would feel about this then; as he desperately tries to grab his child’s hand as they fall through the door of a hell he never knew existed. A living hell from which there is no return except through the constitution and bill of rights, and people Like Janice, who fight for truth and justice.

        Do you suppose Mark (father of 2) would be calling for the gutting of our rights then? Or do you suppose his mind would open a little bit and he would actually take a look at this issue instead of just believing whatever he is told to believe? Do you think Mark (father of 2) is aware of the fact that the witch hunt also ensnares little children as young as 5yo? Do you think Mark (father of 2) will ever ask to see proof of what he is being told?

        • Timmr

          That five year old will wear that label “child molester” for the rest of his life like a fetid albatross around his neck and be banned from living next schools or visiting parks til the day he dies. Who is really saved by these laws?

        • Q

          Empirical evidence doesn’t suggest, it states; these laws are worthless and don’t do anything their proponents say they do.

        • Harry

          Timmr and Q, In fact, there is a local man, whom is vocally negative against RC, his 20 y.o., son was arrested, 3 weeks ago, for a 288a and other s ex related crimes. This man is a pillar of the community.

        • cool CA rso

          Cool invite him here!

        • Timmr

          Was he negative on registered citizens or on the sex offender laws?

    • Gerald

      Mark you are mostly correct in expecting child molesters to realize and accept their loss of the right to be trusted alone with most children. No argument here.
      No one is contesting that. What most people here fairly expect is to be allowed to roam freely among the public as long as they are conducting themselves accordingly.
      The nature of the typical child molester is to take advantage of an intimate relationship rather than grabbing the closest child they can get close to.

      • Timmr

        So someone convicted of one of a myriad of crimes considered child molestation should never be around children? And someone caught downloading cp should never be allowed to be on the internet? Noone committing indecent exposure should ever be allowed in public? Just like that. Typical? C’mon.

    • WantstoHelp

      Mark, it might help a little to understand where so many people are coming from if you understand a little bit more about what a “sex offender” is, and isn’t. And also what the definition (in legal terms) of what a child is, and isn’t. A huge percentage of men and women that are labeled “sex offender” have never touched a child. Many are charges that don’t involve another person. And there are also some that involve consensual acts that are statutorily crimes, such as young couples who have sex before the legal age of consent, or where one is above the legal age of consent and the other is not. By definition, a young person convicted of one of these crimes is considered to have committed sexual assault against a child (or similar definition) even if he or she later goes on to marry his/her victim. Because the registry is a one way street, it doesn’t matter if that person lives a law abiding life forever after, and has children of their own, they will always be labeled a “sex offender” no matter what their particular circumstances, and no matter whether they pose a future threat or not.

      Similarly, an enormous percentage of individuals on the sex offender registries are themselves parents. Government and academic studies have shown over and over again that those with sex-offense histories have the LOWEST rate of re-offense than any other felony, except for murder. So to answer your question, the statistics and history alone shows that most “child molesters” (your words) do not go on to re-offend after they have served their sentence.

      There are indeed some individuals who have committed horrific crimes and who will continue to re-offend. These are who most people think of when they hear the term “sex offender.” In truth they are a very small percentage of this cohort.

      The problem with so many sex offender laws is that they lump everyone with that label into one group without regard to actual risk, and without regard to the true harm that it does to the children of those who are labeled. When the parents cannot find stable housing, and the children are ostracized, and supporting the family is difficult because the breadwinner continually loses jobs due to harsher and harsher restrictions, the children and spouses suffer just as much, if not more, than the person who is on the registry.

      If these laws took risk into account, and didn’t apply blanket restrictions to everyone with the same label; if these laws made it possible for those who have gone decades without committing another crime to get off the list, then they might (maybe?!) make a little more sense.

      Except that, the studies also show that, contrary to popular opinion, they also have no bearing on preventing future crimes.

      Truth of the matter is that anyone who is intent on committing a crime is going to commit it, laws or no laws. All the laws and restrictions do is make it harder for the law abiding to reintegrate and live productive lives, and punishes their spouses and children indefinitely.

    • td777

      Mark, I can only hope you read this. I said these same things elsewhere but is very relevant to your post as well.

      There are no legitimate studies and no evidence that residency and presence restrictions do anything to reduce sex crimes, though there is suggestive evidence to show they may actually increase crime by putting more stress on registrants which may result in them acting impulsively.

      Yes, there are some registrants who are a threat. That cannot be denied. However, when the true recidivism rate is below 2% according to the California Department of Justice, and the fact that a vast majority of sex crimes are committed by someone known to the victim, it becomes clear that registrants are not the impending threat they were made out to be when politicians were working to get Jessica’s Law passed(when they claimed a recidivism rate around 60-70%). One working with the facts MUST conclude that the “stranger danger” is not what it was made out to be. Are we going to put residency restrictions on family members, teachers, and clergy since they are the group who commit more sex crimes than registrants. Also, are you aware that in recent years, police officers have committed sex crimes at a higher percentage than registered offenders? Should we also put residency and presence restrictions on them as well?

      I, too, am a father, and I register as a “sex offender.” My child, now a teenager, has never been in danger from me, though twice the powers that be have investigated me just for the possibility that I may have molested my own child and tried to accuse me of being a danger and both times had to conclude there was no wrongdoing. My child knows I register and why I register and knows I’m no threat. Just because someone has made a mistake in the past does not mean they will continue to make the same mistake.

      As a father, don’t you think you could better protect your children by knowing the truth and acting with reason than by reacting emotionally to what you find unacceptable? Learn the truth about sex offenses and “sex offenders” and you will find that the bigger threat to your children is not from the people on the registry.

    • Q

      Gee wiz, Mark (father of 2); if one of your children stole a candy bar does that mean your child should be banished and placed on a public registry, and publicly labeled a thief for the rest of his/her life? What if one of them hit another child? Should they be publicly labeled a violent offender for the rest of their life and have people like you screaming that the constitution and bill of rights shouldn’t apply to them? What would you want for your child? The opportunity to get on with their life after they have paid their debt to society? Or to not have any chance of ever being able to live a normal life?

      Perhaps if you would take a little time and do a little research you may discover that you’ve been fed a pack of lies. I’m on the sex offender registry and I didn’t have sex with anyone. The fact of the matter is there wasn’t even another human being involved with anything. The thoughts people like you have about me; your manufactured fears about what you think I may do have never crossed my mind.

      They must find it difficult; those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority. G. Massey; Egyptologist.

    • Jim

      You yourself like many others do not want to accept the fact that most offences to children are done by family members, family friends, neighbors, coaches, teachers, and members of the church. If you took the time to listen and read more carefully you might come to understand that they are no stranger to them.

    • Q

      Mark (father of 2) Could you please cite this?

      “lifelong devastating effects on children, lasting for generations”

      Because it sounds like more of the manufactured hype with no basis in fact or truth. Just how did you happen to come by this information?

    • Michael

      Well, here’s the thing. The vast majority of people who molest a child are not strangers to that child. Nor are the currently RSOs.

      They are an immediate family member (yes even a father) or an extended family member or a trusted member of the community that deals routinely with that child (Clergy, teacher, sports youth coach) or a family friend.

      The idea that a guy could spend soooo much time at a park or an arcade or a library, in order to “groom” a particular child over days or weeks, to the point he can get that child to trust him to be alone with him is just silly.

      And those that kidnap kids don’t run into an arcade or library or park, snatch a kid and run off. Though sure, some may do so on secluded park trails. But that is so rare.
      Too rare in fact to pass a law that someone who is an RSO, with no history even close to that, can’t take his own kids to the park, or go to the company picnic, without special permission from the police.
      “Stranger danger” is less than 3% of the sexual assaults on children.

      These laws are sold/passed as to “protect the children from sexual predators”, ok, fine.
      Then write them so that they only apply to those sexually violent predators (SVPs) who have a history of going after stranger children.
      Not just all people who have to register.

  8. John B

    How is it legal that any individual community can pass laws of this nature? Logic dictates that you can not, with any sense of respect to Constitutional fairness, allow laws to be enacted which would literally require individuals to know the wildly varying felony laws of hundreds of discrete communities within the state.

    I haven’t broken a law in 40 years and suddenly I have to live in fear of going to park, a mall, a library on threat of prison. A number of years ago I contacted the ACLU and was basically told, “yeah, we tried. It was shot down at SCOTUS”.

    They say this is Christian nation. Apparently “forgiveness” and “redemption” aren’t Christian notions.

    • Timmr

      I find the situation similar to the question of who is responsible for traffic laws. The state is responsible for regulating travel. As such a red light means the same in every city you visit or else there is going to be chaos. They is no “special circumstance” that makes it necessary to change the law so a red light means “go” in another community. Similarly, if the State says there is no need to ban someone on the registry from a park in Sacramento, there is no special circumstance that says someone on the registry is more likely to offend in Carson. Similarly you are going to create chaos (rather more chaos), as people on the registry who have completed their sentence, have the same right to legal travel as anyone else.

  9. Someone who cares

    Can anybody just explain what exactly the “State Law” is pertaining to these ordinances? It always says that local ordinances are pre-empted by State Law, but I just need to understand what that State Law is. Sorry if this is an ignorant question. Still learning.

    • Clark

      ‘Someone….’ …..might better to ask, as the rest of the state’s cities and counties should be , …..orange county …ooooooooooooooooh….!!

    • Janice Bellucci

      There are a few but only a few state laws that restrict where a registered citizen may be present. One of those laws is California Penal Code § 3053.8 which prohibits a person ON PAROLE for which registration is required pursuant to California’s Sex Offender Registration Act and who has been convicted of a sex offense in which one or more of the VICTIM WAS UNDER THE AGE OF 14, from entering any park where children regularly gather without prior express permission of his or her parole agent. In order for this law to apply to you, (1) you must be on parole and your victim must be under the age of 14 at the time of the offense. This state law is narrowly tailored to a small group of people for a short period of time unlike ordinances adopted by cities and counties which applied to all registered citizens regardless of the victim of their offense.

    • Joe

      This is how I understood it.

      In 2006 the ballot initiative commonly known as “Jessica’s Law” was codified in CA PC 3003.5(b).

      PC 3003.5(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is unlawful for any person for whom registration is required pursuant to Section 290 to reside within 2000 feet of any public or private school, or park where children regularly gather.

      Furthermore, PC 3003.5(c) reads

      PC 3003.5(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit municipal jurisdictions from enacting local ordinances that further restrict the residency of any person for whom registration is required pursuant to Section 290.

      Cities and Counties, for some reason, have interpreted subsection (c) to mean that they can also restrict presence via local ordinance. I will never understand why.

      The ruling held that the wording in (c) specifically refers to residence only. Not including presence was not an oversight but full intent. Otherwise it would have been worded differently – either more general or to expressly include presence.

      Additionally, PC 3053.8 DOES regulate presence for those on parole with an offense against a child under 14.

      With that, the legislators ‘fully occupied the field’ and never intended for presence to be included in local control. Because the state law is precise and definitive and state law always trumps local law the ordinances restricting presence are in direct conflict with state law, and that, by definition is pre-emption or unconstitutional.

      Recently introduced AB 201 attempts to give local jurisdictions the right to regulate presence, expressly. But that fat lady has not yet sung. Thank the Lord for Janice and California RSOL.

  10. anonymously

    Mark said “Restrictioion on “Molsters” movements may be the only deternt, we have left as a free society, to curb this sort of behavior.”

    The best deterrent is prevention in the first place. Mark, you seem ignorant of the statistics that 98% of new sex crime is committed by non-registrants and the reoffense rate of registrants is under 3%. So, this may be the only deterrent we have left to curb a problem that doesn’t hardly exist. Registrant reoffense rate and registrant percentage of new registerable sex crimes committed is 2 or 3 percent. Mark, why are you not concerned with the other 98% of sex crimes? By depriving registrants and their families of their civil rights when its unnecessary, not only are we going down a slippery slope of unconstitutionality and fascism which is contrary to the American way of life, but also creating a false sense of security which the 98% of non-registrant molestors use to take advantage of their victims that they know as their coach, family member, family friend, religious leader, etc. Mark, don’t be the same kind of fool as Lauren Book, whose non-registrant perpetrator was a nanny hired by her rich father, and then blame the problem on law-abiding registrants.

  11. anonymously

    Mark, father of 2 stated “Child Molestation is a serious crime, with untold lifelong devastating effects on children, lasting for generations.”

    Mark, if thats the case, then why neglect the victims of the 98% of sex crimes committed by non-registrants? Do you also think the Death penalty should be given to speeders since car accidents from speeding cause lifelong devastation like death, lost limbs, paralysis? Your’e willing to put aside the Constitution, maybe you need to be lie detector tested to see if you’re part of the 98% non-registrant perpetrator community. We’ve got to curb this problem of 98% non-registrant abusers somehow.

  12. Harry

    Mark, “ we have left as a free society” Who is this WE? Is it just, you two and no more? Your self-righteousness stinks. Freedom is more than you and yes this supposed to a free society, FOR ALL, and I am glad you mention it. Now, remember it!

  13. Michael

    That Carson city councilman, Robles, was on KFI-640 John and Ken Show, on Friday the 13th, spouting his drivel. I know Janice was on there once before, maybe she can get on again to counter him.

    Maybe even offer to debate Robles on the John and Ken Show over the facts of this issue (like the was no problem with RSOs snatching kids out of or molesting them in the city playgrounds or libraries that this ordinance was/is needed).

    See if he has the guts to do that.

  14. USA

    Here is the bottom line. Carson is just one of many cities who are making it increasingly difficult for anyone convicted of a sex offense (child related/adult related/paroles/summary probation/misdemeanors) to even function. I mean, I plead to an offense almost 20 years ago/adult/massage parlor/summary probation/expunged and I honestly have no idea what laws pertain to each city. I mean, I had no idea Carson, Riverside or ect ect had these laws on the books. I would literally have to purchase an ipad and search each city to know how or what laws applied to who or what? I think for example the city of Los Alamitos has a park ban? Just for child related offenders? I honestly don’t even know if I can visit a beach at this time? The laws are extremely confusing and when the detectives would come to my home for compliance checks, they didn’t even seem to know what or how the laws applied. So, this is a good reason these laws need to be struck down and why we need a tiered system here in California. ITs nuts.

  15. Rosa Blackman

    Unfortunately, people like “the father of 2” can trust more in the convenience of their personal convictions rather than all the empirical facts or evidence given which should dismantle irrational positioning. History has proven that this kind of thinking can also be “devastating through generations” until courageous people like Janice and others rise up in righteous indignation to confront as needed and defend those in vulnerable conditions. May they be blessed!

    RB

  16. MM

    I had an interesting thought this morning while listening to the news. All this talk of a new 1.7 billion dollar stadium in Carson. Since they are fighting for presence restrictions (and let’s say they ‘stick’) would that mean a registered citizen would NOT be able to attend the games if they wanted to?? After all, it would be where ‘children gather’, correct??? Just food for thought … the stadium has been in talks for about 9 months, the city knows this.

  17. ty

    WoW what the humans that did nothing and what convicted of lewd act with child under 14 that did not go to prison and was 18 when they got caught because someone lied now 30 years later and have there on kids and is not a threat to nobody should be left alone 30 years ago I’m 50 now

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