WESTMINSTER (CBS) — Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Saturday praised four Westminster City Council members for approving an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from the city’s parks and playgrounds.

Rackauckas said he was “thrilled” with the council’s 4-0 vote Thursday night, making it a misdemeanor for a registered sex offender to go into a park without permission in city limits. Punishment could be up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Councilmember Frank Fry abstained.

“I hope parents of Westminster join me in commending Westminster Mayor (Margie) Rice, Mayor Pro Tem (Tyler) Diep, and City Council members (Andrew) Quach and (Tri) Ta for taking a big step in creating a safety zone for our children and keeping sex offenders out of Westminster parks,” Rackauckas said.

Westminster is the fourth Orange County city to close the loophole in the state’s sex offender laws. Tustin, Fullerton and Irvine already have similar ordinances in place.

“There’s vulnerabilities in the cities and the counties when it comes to child molesters being allowed to go into a park,” said Maryanne McCauley with the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

McCauley told CBS2/KCAL9 that predators are not allowed to walk onto a school campus without permission and this is no different.

“If you don’t want them going to your schools, you certainly don’t want them going to a park where children are playing,” she added.

(©2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (14)
  1. confidential says:

    This is wrong.

    These are just some politicians trampling on individual rights for votes.

    If they can do it to a certain group of people, THE CAN DO IT TO YOU IN THE FUTURE.

    1. Father of 2 says:

      What about the right of people (expecially children) of having a safe environment to play in?

      They are sex offenders, get it, SEX OFFENDERS (IE rapists, child molestors, etc), they shouldn’t have any rights.

      I commend the city of Westminster!!!

      1. Truth says:

        The right of a citizen to use a public service in no way takes away a child’s right to use a park. This is actually a solution to a non-problem, for there are less than 3 instances of a convicted sex offender attacking a child in OC parks in the past FORTY years. In fact, there have been more cops arrested for felonies in OC parks during that time…. this is politics, and I would bet that most CONVICTED sex offenders barely use the parks anyway… its all the moms and dads that are diddling their kids at home who also use the parks… like YOU Father of 2… your tone indicates it is a good possibility you molest your own kids… can you prove you don’t?

  2. Really says:

    Convicted MURDERERS who are released from prison have more rights. Explain that one, please. Not to mention car jackers, burglars and drug dealers. These laws seem to be put in place in lieu of common sense parenting. Keep an eye on my kid? Why should I when the city banned sex offenders? Please – let the sex offenders roam freely when released and require parents to actually watch their kids. Nothing’s more dangerous to an AYSO team than some 40 something gal arrested for streaking at 18. Yes, she would be a registered sex offender.

  3. Father of 4 says:

    i am more than happy that child molesters should be banned from parks, schools, beaches and the like. The problem is that all sex offenders are not child molesters. You can be a registered sex offender for taking a leak in public, or having your adult girlfriend charge you with attempeted sexual assult. I do not think a ban on all sex offenders to places where children are present is fair unless there conviction was against a child.

  4. Primetime Editorials says:


  5. Brian says:

    how do you know a sexoffender from a non one go fig granted an adult should not be talking to a child and asking a child to help thme look for something and answereing adult questions this is the parrents reponsiblity they should talk to there kids about strnager danger even if somone says am the police and ask them to help find something the kids should say your not my mommy or daddy and also say if you are the police why you need my help

  6. Truth says:

    FBI reports only 16% of sex offenders are caught and identified. Perhaps Rackauckas would be willing to take the same polygraph that sex offenders take to prove he is not one of the missing 84%? I bet not…..

  7. HTTP404 says:

    Somewhere in Westminster, a child has been told they cannot go to the park and play today because their parent made a terrible indiscreet mistake a long time ago.

  8. bill burns says:

    I just saw Mayor Bloomberg head for the park. He plays with himself in public. What are u going to do about it?

  9. SHW NO MERCY says:

    Absolutely, commendations are in order. just as soon as I learn to pronounce the council members names.

  10. MichaelRS says:

    No, maryanne, parks and schools are not the same. Scholols are for kinds, teacher and their parents.
    But parks are public lands open to all in the community.

    Can a sex offender go on school property if he has a kid going there and has busniess with the staff? You bet he/she can. And there is no REAASON for the stranger sex offender to be on school property.

    But there are many many lawful reasons that a sex offender colud be in a PUBLIC park. Walikg his dog (and no, I don’t mean 40 time past the jungle gym playground), having a pick-up game of basket ball with some frineds, there on a pic0nic with a dat or his family, or just walking through to enjoythe area himself.

    None of whic interfers in th eleast with parents and children enjoying the park.

    So does this law now mean that partents in Westminister parks no longer have to watch their kids or that the kids can now go up and talk to all the strangers they want?

    Of coures not. This law is a bill of goods, sold to the public, to give them a false sense of security.

    The only sex offenders that are going to obey it ar the ones who want no more problems, of any kind, with the law. And those are not the one you have to worry about anyway. Are they?
    But the sexually violent preadator (SVP) is not going to care one way or the other.

    1. MichaelRS says:

      Sorry all. I CAN spell. I just can’t type.

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