OC Board Eyes Ban On Sex Offenders At Playgrounds, Beaches

SANTA ANA (CBS) — Officials in Orange County say they will consider creating a child safety zone to protect kids from sexual predators.

The proposed ordinance from the Board of Supervisors would it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to visit recreational areas where children gather.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the idea comes from Supervisor Shawn Nelson and Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukus.

The top prosecutor says the parks don’t belong to sexual deviants.

The ordinance would reportedly bar sex offenders from a variety of recreational locations, including playgrounds, harbors, beaches and hiking trails.

Violators would get up to six months in jail and or a $500 fine.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Al Sanchez

    Enough already! So many people can be labeled sex offenders. Do you know that if you get caught having sex with someone in a park or even in a car in public, you can be labeled a sex offender?!?!? Talk about an overreach of government. It’s gotta stop. I can see REAL SEX OFFENDERS like child molesters, but not someone who did something stupid like have sex in a public place and get labeled as a real sex offeder. So, I’m on the side of the people who are being bombarded by laws that want to restrict their movements because that will NEVER stop them from doing what they do. They need help — psychiatric — not banning them here and there. It won’t work — anyone who disagrees with me is part of the problem.

    • David Huffman

      You sir are a fool and probably don’t have children,and if you think like that you need some psych help!!!

    • Anthony Rond

      I agree with you Al, I have 3 kids, and i WATCH them, because sex offenders do not run around with signs on their backs. Law will not prevent them from going anywhere. False sense of security if think so. be so many laws, it would be like Nazi germany! Need more law to keep them in, not out would be the best answer…..

  • jamaican josh

    Al Sanchez, get outta here with your “they need help – psychiatric -” Psychiatric help cannot cure a sex offender. There is no magic pill nor any amount of counseling that can prevent sex offenders, especially sexual violent predators from commiting another sick crime! What will work is keeping them locked up for life or death penalty. Because all they do when they get out is destroy more and more lives. Anyone who disagrees with Al is alright with me! LOL!

  • SoCal

    They are really overstepping the rights of those that have SERVED THEIR TIME. Then I guess if they take certain liberties away from some people (offenders) then they are exempt from paying that portion of the taxes since they are no longer allowed to enjoy certain areas. Its laws like this that are like NAZI Germany.

  • serialmom187

    Anyone that hurts a child in anyway is just wasting good air if u think they can b fixed society has no room for them.

  • TT

    yup – the best idea (barring the stupid idea that people that have sex in cars are sex offenders- which is just dum) is not to let them out on the street to begin with if they are a danger in anyway to society. Doesnt take a brain surgeon to figure that one out.

  • CarmaDogma

    Preventing felons from having guns makes sense. Preventing sex offenders from working with children in employment and volunteer settings makes sense. Allowing the public to see if their neighbor is a sex offender they should avoid makes sense. Lengthy or life prison sentences for even first time offenses makes sense. But this? It makes absolutely no sense at all. I’d like to know what the penalty is in Orange County for littering because all they are doing is dumping trash into the municipal code. What if a labeled sex offender has children and a decades-old offense? Seems to me the children would become unintended victims of this legislation, not the offender. So it is a law that will victimize children while trying to prevent children from being victimized. Maybe the “permission” aspect is intended to address this but I doubt it.

  • Robert Curtis

    Some good points here for not enacting this law. Lets trust our law enforcement and probation officers as well as others in the system even that DA. They’re doing a great job as it is. The only reason logically to do this action is due to a lack of faith in them. Unless there has been a surge in registrants (RSO) committing sexual assaults in these areas I see no grounds for this or like ordinances. Lets fine tune the laws already on the books rather than creating ordinances that destroy more than they heal. These registrants have done their time and if they slip up our law enforcement knows what to do.

  • Paul J. Wallin

    The Orange County Board of Supervisors in conjunction with the Orange County District Attorney has passed a new law that might appear to be a wonderful thing. Of course no one wants “sexual predators” to have the opportunity to molest or assault anyone. However, there are many things wrong with this new law as written and it is highly likely that the new law will be found to be unconstitutional.

    Yet before we get into the merits of the law, we must immediately look into what appears to be a major conflict of interest on behalf of the parties who proposed this ordinance.

    Apparently Orange County Board of Supervisor Shawn Nelson and District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas crafted the law to further restrict sexual offenders. However, something appears very wrong here. The vast majority of laws related to sex offenders and all other crimes are created and implemented after they are debated and voted on by our state legislators.

    Yet, this new law was created by individuals who may stand to reap some direct or indirect financial gain from this law. Board Supervisor Nelson continues to be a law partner in the law firm of Rizio and Nelson. This law firm represents persons accused of crimes, including sex offenses. This new law will lead to people being arrested and in turn they will need a lawyer. Many may call the law office of Rizio and Nelson to defend them.

    You certainly have to wonder how it can be appropriate for Mr. Nelson to work to pass a new law, which will likely financially benefit his law firm. You also have to wonder how on one hand Mr. Nelson can strongly advocate for this law prohibiting all PC 290 registrants from visiting county beaches, parks, and other recreational areas when he knows that his law firm will likely financially benefit when his firm defends them. Does this sound right to anyone?

    There is also an apparent conflict of interest when the Orange County District Attorneys Office begins working to enact new laws as opposed to prosecuting violators of the laws that our state legislature creates. What is happening is that the District Attorney is creating “new business” for his office. By doing so, he can justify asking the Board of Supervisors for more tax dollars because they need more prosecutors and assistants to enforce this new law.

    The bottom line is that there are many problems with this new law that will be addressed in future blogs. However, there is a clear reason that our criminal laws are adopted by our elected state legislators who can have no conflict of interest when voting and enacting our laws. We need to look deeper into the apparent conflict of interest that exists with the passing of this new law and we must do so before it goes into effect on May 5, 2011.

    Paul J. Wallin
    Senior Partner
    Wallin & Klarich, A Law Corporation

  • Paul J. Wallin

    There is no doubt that this law will not be upheld as constitutional by our courts. Laws that are passed must be able to be enforced without violating the constitutional rights of our citizens. This new law provides that PC 290 registrants can only go to these public park locations if they receive “consent”. However, there is no vehicle in place to determine how this “consent” will be given and what “legal standard” will be utilized as to who should or should not receive consent to travel to the prohibited areas.

    Of course every reasonable person wants to protect society from sexual predators who may assault a minor or an adult. However, what most people do not realize is that PC 290 has been greatly expanded and a large number of people who are required to register per PC 290 plead guilty to minor sex offenses, which could include a 20 year old who has sex with his 17 year old girlfriend, or a person who while intoxicated exposed himself on one occasion at a party. Should those individuals be banned from all public parks for life? More importantly, what mechanism has been put in place to decide who will be given consent to visit the nearly 60,000 acres of county parks, beaches, and other recreational areas?

    The other major constitutional problem with this new law is a simple, how will the law be enforced? Can you imagine being at the beach with your family and a police officer approaches you and wants to know if you are a registered sex offender? What do sex offenders look like? What type of bathing suit do they wear? Do they have any identifying features that would “clue in” law enforcement that they are required to register per PC 290? The answer is obvious. So how will this law be legally enforced?

    If in fact law enforcement will only be able to detain those that they know are PC 290 registrants, then you have to wonder, whether the law will have any value and will really protect anyone. Unless police officers are going to carry around 2000 index cards with photos of every registered sex offender in Orange County, then somehow try to match these index cards to the tens of thousands of people on the beach or county parks, the law will not be able to be legally enforced.

    Our laws require law enforcement to have probable cause before they can randomly interrupt you and your family while spending time at the beach or the park. Unless registered sex offenders decide to wear a sign around their neck notifying police, this new law will not work. It will not work for two reasons. First, because it is not constitutional and second, because there is no mechanism in place to legally enforce it without violating the constitutional rights of every person who decides to visit our beautiful public beaches and parks.

    Paul J. Wallin
    Senior Partner
    Wallin & Klarich, A Law Corporation

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