TEMECULA (CBSLA.com) — A major move by Riverside County officials could do away with a sex-offender ordinance that sets rules on where they can live or visit.
Sex offenders across California aren’t allowed within 2,000 feet of public parks or schools, and in Riverside County, they aren’t welcome within 300 feet. The county also has stronger restrictions on where sex offenders can live.
KCAL9’s Crystal Cruz reports there is now talk of repealing this ordinance by the Board of Supervisors.
According to attorney Janice Bellucci, with California Reform Sex Offender Laws, Riverside County’s ordinance violates state and federal constitutions following a recent court ruling invalidating similar city ordinances, citing state law trumps city law.
“I think they should be afraid of a lawsuit being filed,” Bellucci said.
“It gives the public a false sense of security: if only these people are kept away the parks and schools and public library then the children will be safe then. In fact, just about the opposite it true – that the people on the registry are very unlikely to reoffend,” she said.
Bellucci, who’s a mother, says parents need to look at family members, teachers, coaches and clergy if they really want to protect their kids.
Even though the nonprofit has filed several lawsuits against other cities, Riverside County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff Stone wants to hold off on repealing the ordinance.
“I want to make sure we have another ordinance that will satisfy legal muster with the California state constitution and make sure that we air on the side of our citizens and the potential victims,” Stone said.
According to Stone, 3,000 registered sex offenders live in Riverside County.
The board could make a final decision on the ordinance next week.
San Bernardino County has a similar ordinance, although there has yet to be talk of a repeal there.