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CA: Sex Offender Law – Fight or Punt? City Choices Limited

Rock. Santa Clarita. Hard Place. That about sums up the situation the Santa Clarita City Council was in this past week, when council members faced a staff recommendation to repeal a city ordinance restricting the residency of registered sex offenders. Full Editorial

Also see

Sex Offender Case Posed Dilemma for City Council by Santa Clarita Mayer Pro Tem

Related

Santa Clarita City Council Repeals Residency Restrictions

CA: Santa Clarita City Council To Consider Repeal Of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Join the discussion

  1. Mr. B

    It was mentioned keep children safe … residency restrictions and 60,000 criminals and they re-commit crimes !!
    Some how we must face people who use information the wrong way and counter by stating other pertinent, true facts …let them know a narrow destructive uneducated stance or point of view will not be TOLERATED and the Voters $$ are miss spent on foolish endeavours that only waist time and money and portrait ex felons as the problems of Society !!
    No longer will these type of pursuits be allowed to encroach on the people who served their time and are free according to the Constitution not there, thoughts, feeling or Opinions !!!

  2. Facts should matter

    Sometimes a “good fight” is worth fighting. And sometimes, you punt.

    You’re not fighting the “good fight” you THINK you are!

    Punt? This isn’t, and never will be, a football game. There are NO winners on this playing field. If anything, it’s a ZERO SUM game.

  3. USA

    I continue to scratch me head. We had been banned from beaches and parks? What was next? Public restrooms? Yet, we allow transgenders here in Ca to go into the bathrooms with little girls. Movie theaters? Bike paths? Train stations? Hotels? Sidewalks? Cars? Register your bicycle? Skateboard? Shoes??????? Can I own a camera? Fly? Should I be allowed at night? Why can’t we have special bathrooms? The laws are nuts. You would be better off being a gang banger or drug dealer! I’m an expunged battery guy who received summary probation 20 plus years ago.

  4. G4Change

    Wow, whoever wrote this is a jackass!!!

  5. mike r

    Look at this shit,
    “Sounds reasonable, right? However, Prop. 83, known as Jessica’s Law, almost immediately faced legal challenges from attorneys who stood up for the rights of sex offenders versus the safety and security of families like yours.”

    Yep, using the old us against them attitude on top of the BS demagoguery. These people are going to keep pushing to get this in CA, probably after they tier us. All they have to do is say it applies only to level three and its a done deal, at least until it gets to CA SC again, and even they might uphold something like that. The question has never been answered specifically concerning non-parole offenders. Seems like a no brainer, but a decision has to have definitiveness I should say I guess. I think the attorney general and the court was pretty clear in my case that the law does not apply to non-parolees, as far as the CA Attorney general was concerned. If it comes to it where one of these cities decides to take it the distance Janice should be citing the AG in my case probably, I would think it has persuasiveness if not definitive. And CA lower courts have been stating that the state law trumps local ordinances in the cases Janice has brought, so they run scared in those cases, and I do not believe that any of those cases has made it to the CA SC yet.

    This kind of crap really gets me too,

    “That’s the California we live in: Sacrificing the will of the voters, local control and the safety of our children, while protecting the rights of sex offenders.”

    Really? “local control and the safety of our children” How about editorial should state some kind of authority. Idiots….

  6. mike r

    Man, can someone post this for me on that site? I do not know what is up with Disqus but I just cannot ever use it anymore for some reason.

    What a quack editor. How about take some facts from the real experts that we/you pay, so I would hope they are trained to study this crap or why the hell are we/you paying them for then. Here are general facts for those that have a rational mind. Try the real experts.
    1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB); “After about eight to nine years offense‐free in the community, people who have committed sexual offenses and are assessed as average or above‐average risk to reoffend pose no greater risk of committing a new sex offense than any other type of offender.” [p. 9]. http://casomb.org/pdf/2017_CASOMB_Annual_Report_uploaded_7_16.pdf [visited December 11, 2018].
    2. CASOMB Educational Pamphlet WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW About CALIFORNIA’s SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY Other Hard Facts, Data, and Visuals; “Criminal offenders with no prior sex offense history are rearrested for a subsequent sex crime more often than low risk convicted sex offenders. Expenditures of registry programs include: [] local law enforcement efforts to register offenders including paperwork and computer entry of records [] compliance efforts to verify residence addresses of registrants [] prosecution for registration violations [] technological improvements to build and maintain online registries [] updating and connecting registry systems with other databases[] When quantifiable costs are summed, they are estimated to range from $10 billion to $40 billion nationally per year. These costs could be reduced if the registry did not try to track everyone for life.” [p. 12]. http://casomb.org/pdf/CASOMB_Education_Pamphlet.pdf [visited December 8, 2018].
    3. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) – Statement on Assembly Bill 201 1-6-16 “Research recently conducted in California by one of the most highly respected researchers in the world [Dr. Karl Hanson] has found that the recidivism rates for sex offenders who have been identified by SARATSO risk assessment instruments (cf. http://www.SARATSO.org ) as “Low to Medium risk” fall in the range of 1 to 2 percent.” [p. 2]. “It is worth noting that none of the statements and arguments made by proponents and supporters of this Bill and none of the Analysis provided by the Assembly Committee on Local Government have made any reference to these highly credible authorities.” http://www.casomb.org/docs/CASOMB_LetterRegarding%20AB201_1-7-16.pdf [p.4] [visited December 15, 2018].
    4. California Sex Offender Management Board 2016 Video presentation; with several of the leading California expert’s testimony of facts along with the fallacies of the California registration scheme, see http://www.casomb.org/ [visited April 13, 2018]. Complaint pp 4 ¶ 12.
    5. From Justice Policy Institute: “Registries and notification have not been proven to protect communities from sexual offenses and may even distract from more effective approaches. Given the enormous fiscal costs of implementing SORNA, coupled with the lack of evidence that registries and notification make communities safer, states should think carefully before committing to comply with SORNA.” [p 1]. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf [visited November 15, 2018].
    6. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America: Abstract: “The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses.” https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=247350 [visited November 15, 2018].
    7. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Office of Justice Programs: Are Sex Offenders Dangerous? Abstract: “The results of the research indicate that the overwhelming majority of sex offenders were not rearrested for another sex crime. This finding is surprising given the way in which DNA collection, registration, and notification policies have come about. Research would indicate that robbers may be better candidates for DNA collection, registration, and community notification than sex offenders.” “The extension of sex offender policies to nonsexual offenders appears unjustified and would have little effect on preventing future sex crimes. The results indicate that policies can be founded on misconceptions, and these misconceptions not only have financial consequences, but also can affect the likelihood that the policies enacted will achieve their goals. Policy makers need to become better informed on the issues they subject to far-reaching and costly legislation.https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=203427 [visited November 15, 2018].

  7. Claudia

    I have a question? Regarding sex offenders.. if someone is on the web and happens to be looking at porn ( we all have done it at some point in our lives so lets not be judgemental).. These websites that are suppose to verify the ages and identities of the people they have performing sexual acts are not being held accountable for showing/allowing minors.. If i went on the web and looked for a specific fetish for example anything with the words “young” or “teen” i might be wanting something within the 18-19 yr range which is considered legal status correct.. So then some options are obviously given.. when ur on the web you would hope that what pops up from these sites is legal and has already been reviewed verified by site administrators so that later it wont come back and become a crime done on your behalf.. because im pretty sure the last thing someone is trying to do is first verify documents for each actress and actor before watching.. well this is why im asking. Someone i know just spent 18 months in prison and is now on 3 yrs parole w gps and has to be on registry for 10 years.. how is that fair? That he gets charged w a crime he unknowingly committed and is targeted for life as a child sex offender when all he did was look up something online he figured was legal.. because u would think the owners of the website would do their jobs and make sure all actors and actress were of legal age to be performing sexual acts on their websites. They should be held accountable maybe by that being done they will avoid ruining an individuals life that due to all the turmoil that followed after one search caused not just that individual but the people close to him to put their lives on hold because they are now prevented from getting married, from buying a house from starting a family due to his conditions of parole.
    I just feel robbed of my life with someone til this day i will fight for his right to have his life given back to him. Its unfair that now due to the lack of website administrators doing their job correctly innocent people both men and women are being punished for a crime they unknowingly committed.. Yes the person I am speaking of is my fiancée which i have to be 166 miles apart because he cannot leave the county he resides in.. when we had our future planned out.. the could haves and would haves are without a doubt devastating for both of us… we would have been married by now , he could have started his business he was working so hard for i could have gone back to school and finished my nursing. We would have already finished our house he so wanted to.build for me on the property we would have bought if it wasnt for him getting arrested and serving a 18 month term for this all the money used for an attorney could have been used on the property we both desired to have our first home built to my liking because he just wanted to make sure our life together would be perfect and special.

    So what could have been a beautiful and wonderful beginning to our lives together has now turned into a stressful expensive struggle since hes in San Diego and Im in Los Angeles he cant leave due to parole and I cant move due to my kids another struggle because parole wont allow him around my kids..So because I love this man and know he has been wrongly accussed and convicted ive been traveling every weekend for the past month to be with him we already lost 18 months of our lives i dont think its fair whats happening to him and others.. there needs to be a way to change the law based on the actual actions. Of each individual affected by similar situation. Its unfair and its robbing someone from having a future someone that is a hard working person. One mistake or one search has ruined his life and the people around him .

    Just wanting to express my situation any comments or advice i would gladly accept if you are going to be rude and nasty please do not respond.. again thank you for.reading

    • Chris f (@CLAUDIA)

      Claudia, it is a very sad situation, and one I have seen many times.

      To start with, congratulations on sticking it out and not abandoning someone because of one mistake. I hope that you will join us in fighting and understanding the truth behind all of the issues and misconceptions.

      Unfortunately, unless a person is going into a brick and morter local porn store, there can be no expectation of web sites only supplying material legal in the united states. The web is global, and other countries tolerate lower teen ages or don’t police it at all. On sites with public contributions, they will barely police those contributions unless someone reports them as underage.

      Many times, a good lawyer can prove a person didnt knowingly commit a crime and can at least deadlock a jury. The problem is, 19 out of 20 lawyers don’t really put any effort into defending a sex offence. They all talk a good talk and appear on your side. Then, suddenly in the 11th hour they tell you to take a deal or risk 10 or 20 years being locked up. They have your money, and they have no motivation to actually win your case.

      Good luck, and persevere. You are venting in the right place but there will be some push back because when searching for teen porn on a world wide computer network run by all types of individuals and only expecting 18 and 19 year old verified results is quite a stretch to believe.

      • Claudia

        Thank you Chris f for your comment on my situation.. I will stand by this man 💯 we all make mistakes.. now I am being asked by his parole officer to write a letter stating that I am aware of his “crime” I was with him prior to him being charged.. so is this protocol.. I mean there is nothing that I wouldnt do for him but just curious..Also he was told they will be doing polygraphs.. Why? I guess this is all so stressful and it makes me mad that he cant have a normal life we cant have a life together as we had hoped and dreamed of for the next 3yrs that hes on parole.. He isnt even allowed to leave the county which is really affecting us right now that im going thru some medical issues which require surgery and hospitalization.. so i will be dealing with all of this alone.its unfair we cant even facetime because again he cant have a smart phone could only be a phone to make calls no internet access.. what can be done to change this?

        • Lake County

          Claudia,
          Unfortunately when you are on parole, you are still in the States custody. He has very few rights and needs to walk a thin tightrope for awhile. Yes there may be some rights he could fight for, but that takes money and would likely make his parole officer work harder against him. The best thing he can do is cooperate and get his parole officer’s trust so that he will be allowed more privileges. A good attorney can help advise him of all his parole rights, but a very smart attorney that will represent a registered citizen at an affordable price is hard to find. – Polygraphs are part of the treatment programs to get offenders to admit all past sex crimes. The use of polygraphs has been discussed here often because of the 5th amendment issues it creates. I would suggest that you use the search feature at the top of each page here and search the word “polygraphs” to read all the past discussions. It will be worth reading. Also, you are not required to speak or write anything to the parole officer if you don’t want to. But it does help to be cooperative. – But time moves fast and soon parole will be over. So hang in there. Life will get better when he is off parole.

        • Chris f (@ Claudia)

          Happy to help Claudia.

          The PO may just want to know that your husband hasnt hidden any of this from you and that you can be trusted to be a well informed “chaperone” if he is given special permission to go anywhere that could have kids present and that your own kids are safe.

          As far as the unreasonable conditions, they can simetimes be changed or minimized after time as trust develops with the PO. Also, if conditions unfairly impact his ability to get a job then a lawyer can contest it in court and get some restrictiona removed. Pretty sure international travel wont be allowed but even if it is, use the resources on this site to see how many countries wont let him in.

          In regards to polygraphs, they are standard for sex offenders. At least one or two a year will be taken under the false impression that it means the person is following all conditions of probation and treatment. Unfortunately, polygraphers make more money if you fail amd have to retake the exam and they are highly unreliable. If your husband has trouble passing let me know and I can suggest some resources. It’s best at first to just keep him ignorant to how polygraphs work and hope he can pass naturally. Once he reads too much about polygraphs then he cant unlearn those things and polygraphs wont work as intended.

          My wife stuck by me and we have two young kids. It was a battle, but we came out of all of it intact and happy. Of course, it would have been a much easier fight and we would have been much better off without the registry…but we still made it.

        • AJ

          @Claudia:
          I’m so sorry to hear of what’s happened for you two and your children. It’s a horrible situation, to say the least. The first few months will be the hardest, but hopefully once his PO learns his patterns and sees he’s toeing the line, things may improve. It may not hurt to let the PO know the medical and family strain it’s putting on you. The PO may say tough cookies, or may be okay with rare and necessary trips. (Given he’s GPS-tracked, I don’t get why a PO can’t be more accommodating.)

          I agree with what the others say about playing nicey-nice with the PO. The last thing you want is to spur any law-enforcement bureaucrat into paying attention to you, PO’s even more so. Here’s some food for thought regarding the prohibition on internet usage: “Under Packingham, blanket limitations on an individual’s ability to access social media will receive intermediate scrutiny, even when imposed as conditions of parole. There is no indication in Packingham that parolees are exempted from the Court’s decision. The North Carolina law challenged in Packingham applied to registered sex offenders generally, without distinguishing between those who had finished any period of supervised release.” (Yunus v. Robinson, https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-york/nysdce/1:2017cv05839/478472/103/) The gist of this case is that Packingham has shifted what courts and parole/probation can and cannot do regarding blanket bans on Internet and social media. In fact, one of the POs in this case is possibly facing financial damages due to violating the Plaintiff’s rights post-Packingham.
          =====

          @NY won’t let go: Though the above case was about a non-sex-offense RC (kidnapping a minor), he was able to enlist pro bono counsel. It can’t hurt to try contacting the same people to see if they will help you. The attorneys in this case were David Benjamin Berman (email: dberman at ecbalaw dot-com) and Andrew G. Celli (email: acelli at ecbalaw dot-com) of the law firm

          Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP
          600 5th Avenue, 10th Floor
          New York, NY 10020
          (212)-763-5000
          (212)-763-5001 (fax)

      • Lake County

        Chris f

        We must have had the same attorney. When I handed him my first $5,000 he said not to worry, my case was all B*ll Sh*t. But shortly after I handed him the second $5,000 check, he said don’t go to trial or I would likely get raped daily for 10+ years. So much for hiring a Harvard grad. Of course I found out later that he had just got his CA law license reinstated after a year suspension.

        • Chris f (@ Lake County)

          It was a shock and wake up call for me.

          It turns out, at least 9 out of 10 in my treatment group had thw same experience.

          Most people do not realize most lawyers actually do not become lawyers because they believe everyone deserves someone to fight 100% for their rights no matter the crime even though that is the only way an adversarial legal system works. They are in it for the prestige and the money. Neither of those needs are achieved by taking on a sex offender and winning. We would all be better off by asking the judge for a 6 month delay while we learn to represent ourselves.

          Most attorneys representing sex offenders tread the line of barely doing enough not to get disbarred. I even talked to one that didnt know my situation and was bragging how he wasnt losing any sleep over his 21 year old client taking a “deal” of getting 10 years in prison without early release for cp that was himslef abused as a child. Luckily, in an ultra rare event, the federal judge denied the deal and didnt accept until they came back with 7 years and chance to get out in 5.

  8. What

    Stop pretending the SOR electronic broadcasts were not always going to be(actual intent?) used to impose affirmative restraint ad hoc. PLEAS OF IGNORANCE by Mr. Kennedy will not overcome the unnatural effects of such a regime upon The liberties of Free men.
    The making human personal data a commodity while men are mandated upkeep it. The demand for information is insatiable as is the nature of the machine. Bad human policy.

  9. M

    Claudia,

    The advice givin so far is solid, I share a similar situation and I found that a change of perspective helped me alot. The personal nature in which these limitations encompass often lead to a belief that the POs restrictions and how he goes about enforcing them are of a personal quest by the po to make life as difficult as possible. They take on a sometimes parental authority figure that many deal with growing up in which you live In there house and it’s there rules and hell hath no fury like a patriarch scorned. This may not be everyone’s expirance but it was mine and it fermented hate and frustration at this unreasonable person telling me I have to live a life that I literally could not imagine living.

    What helped me the most was when I got a new po…
    (this can be a hit or miss they are all differnt in there expectations and when your husband to be dose get a new one it will be the best thing for him to put that question to the new po just like that, “sir/mam I know you all have expectations that you find most valuable in the course of you job, and if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to hear them”)

    …He told me the first time I made a comment to the liking of “why me” that it would be alot easier if I looked at the relationship as a business one that had nothing to do with me but had everything to do with 2 elements
    1. Your failures are there failures and the degree in which most officers hold job security, it’s about covering their asses so if you do fuck up, it can’t be said that it was their fault. Many mentioned gaining their trust, this is an explanation of why, if you have a history of compliance, slip ups are soly on you and they can report what ever leanancy they allowed thay may have contributed to your slip was justified.
    2. Parole agents ideal parole is one that never crosse not his desk but his supervisors. Certain things like being late to treatment will trigger emails that go to their boss in which they are required to submit a course of action document, they hate paper work. The more you make them work the harder they work you.

    Basically, you need to employ a type of tactical empathy. I know it sounds so backwards but once you realize they are another state worker with a job description a boss and a pension to protect, I have found it to to be a much easier expirance to cope with than a mean aggressive asshole determined to ruin your life, when in fact they are doing everything they can so you dont ruin theirs…

    Hope it helps

    Please note:This is of course not just in anyway but when tossed in a barrel of shit one should aim at least to keep your head above the sudge

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