The Orange County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved a new law to create “child safety zones” that registered sex offenders can only enter legally if they have permission from law enforcement.
Basically, the brainchild of District Attorney Tony
Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson makes it a misdemeanor for convicted perverts, molesters and assorted creepers to hang out at in county parks and recreational
areas where children regularly gather–unless the Sheriff's Department gives them the all-clear first.
The Weekly blogged about the then-proposed ordinance here:
“Orange County has taken a huge step in creating a safety
zone for our children,” Rackauckas. says in a statement issued by his office. “Parks,
harbors, and beaches belong to families and children, not registered sex
Nelson is quoted in the same release praising his board for taking “a stand for children.”
“A gap in the law
was identified,” Nelson states, “and now law enforcement has the authority they need to
remove registered sex offenders from children's play areas.”
Violators of the new law face up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine. The zones are indentified in the complete ordinance below:
ORDINANCE NO. 03-18-1 to 6
AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF ORANGE, CALIFORNIA, ADDING DIVISION 18, ARTICLE 1 TO TITLE 3 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE COUNTY OF ORANGE PROHIBITING REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS FROM ENTERING COUNTY PARKS
The Board of Supervisors of the County of Orange, California ordains as follows:
SECTION 1. Division 18, Article 1 is hereby added to Title 3 of
the Codified Ordinances of the County of Orange, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. PROHIBITION OF REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS FROM ENTERING COUNTY PARKS
Sec. 3-18-1. Purpose and intent.
It is the purpose and intent of this ordinance to protect children from
registered sex offenders by restricting sex offenders' access to
locations where children regularly gather. It is intended to reduce the
risk of harm to children by impacting the ability of sex offenders to
be in contact with children. It is further the intent of this ordinance
to provide additional restrictions beyond those provided for in state
law by restricting sex offenders from certain limited locations, and by
allowing for criminal penalties for violations of this ordinance. It is
not the intent of this ordinance to allow conduct otherwise prohibited
by state law, or to contradict state law. Orange County Parks are
recognized by the County of Orange Board of Supervisors as locations
where children regularly gather.
Sec. 3-18-2. Definitions.
Orange County Park. For purposes of this ordinance, an Orange County
Park is defined as any county-owned, leased, operated or maintained land
before or after the effective date of this ordinance by the County of
Orange held as a harbor, beach, park or recreation area, including but
not limited to, Arroyo Trabuco Park, Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Clark
Regional Park, Craig Regional Park, Featherly Regional Park, Irvine
Regional Park, Laguna Niguel Regional Park, Mason Regional Park, Mile
Square Regional Park, O'Neill Regional Park, Orange County Zoo, Peters
Canyon Regional Park, Santiago Regional Park, Harriett M. Wieder
Regional Park, Yorba Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park,
Caspers Wilderness Park, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Thomas F. Riley
Wilderness Park, Talbert Nature Preserve, Aliso Beach Park, Capistrano
Beach Park, Newport Harbor, Salt Creek Beach Park, Sunset Beach Park,
Dana Point Harbor, and Sunset Harbour.
Sec. Sec. 3-18-3. Prohibitions.
Any person required to register pursuant to California Penal Code
sections 290, et seq. who enters into or upon any Orange County Park
where children regularly gather without written permission from the
Orange County Sheriff or Sheriff's designee is guilty of a misdemeanor.
Each entry into any such area, regardless of the time period between
entries, shall constitute a separate offense under this ordinance.
Sec. 3-18-4. Penalties for violation.
Punishment for a violation of this section shall be as follows:
(1) Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment in a county jail
for a period of not more than six months, or by a fine not exceeding
five hundred dollars ($500), or by both imprisonment and a fine.
(2) Upon a second conviction, by imprisonment in a county jail
for a period of not less than ten (10) days and not more than six
months, or by both imprisonment and a fine not exceeding five hundred
dollars ($500). Upon a second conviction, however, the person shall not
be released on probation, parole, or any other basis until he or she
has served not less than ten (10) days.
(3) Upon a third or subsequent conviction, by imprisonment in a
county jail for a period of not less than ninety (90) days and not more
than six months, or by both imprisonment and a fine not exceeding five
hundred dollars ($500). Upon a third or subsequent conviction, however,
the person shall not be released on probation, parole, or any other
basis until he or she has served not less than ninety (90) days.
Sec. 3-18-5. Other prosecution authorized.
Nothing in this ordinance shall preclude or prohibit prosecution under any other provision of law.
Sec. 3-18-6. Severability.
If any section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this
ordinance is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent
jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed severable and such holding
shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof. The
Board of Supervisors hereby declares that it would have adopted this
ordinance irrespective of the invalidity of any particular portion
thereof and intends that the invalid portions should be severed and the
balance of the ordinance be enforced.