We've written a few times about the sex offender bans that cities throughout Orange County are adopting, and we've had some very interesting, honest and soul-baring comments on them. One of the most salient points we picked out from one of our commenters was: What happens if you're a registered sex offender, that offense had nothing to do with minors, it was many years ago-and now, because of a new ban at the park, you can't take your children to play. And, he pointed out, he has a responsibility to care for and protect his children.
This is why we are happy to see that Rancho Santa Margarita is taking a step back and actually analyzing whether or not the ban makes sense for their city. The proposed ban is based on Orange County's Child Safety Zone Ordinance that was developed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas in April of 2011, and would be tailored for city parks and privately owned, homeowner-association parks.
Could you imagine having to explain to your 5-year-old why he has to wait for mommy to get home before he can go to the park? And why you can't take him to the park right in your housing complex? The ordinance would require sex offenders to contact the city's chief of police with a specific location, time and date and receive written permission before they could enter the park. So it's not even that the chief of police could write a letter allowing them in any park, basically overriding the ban, they would have to apply every time they wanted to go to the park. For the father we mentioned above? Impossible.
What Rancho Santa Margarita is discussing is the enforceability of the ban. If they apply the ban to homeowner-association parks, those are privately owned and police cannot "police" them. None of the HOAs have invited law enforcement to their parks, even when the office of Mayor Tony Bell called offering their services.
Bell says that adopting the ordinance could still send a "valuable message" to the community and potential predators that RSM is doing all it can to protect its residents-even if the ordinance is not enforceable in the private parks.
A valuable message? Again, our first point is this: Not everyone on the sex offenders list is a pedophile, stalking children at parks. It's a ban that uses a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Irvine, out of all the cities who have adopted this ban, have been smart enough to only apply it to registered sex offenders who targeted minors. Hallelujah! Good sense prevails. Our second point is this: It's a form of discrimination-sadly, there are many people out there who prey on minors who have not been caught yet. The ban will not catch or filter out those individuals, enforceable in private parks or not.
Have you been falsely accused of being a sex offender? Are you on the list and oppose this ban, as it targets the whole group as pedophiles? At the Law Offices of Glew & Kim, we see all clients as innocent until proven guilty, and believe in equal justice for all. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crime and needs honest, unbiased defense, please call us immediately on 866-416-2161 or use our online form for a free case analysis.
- See more at: http://glewkimlaw.com/blog/2012/01/26/rancho-santa-margarita-discusses-logic-of-sex-offender-ban/#sthash.WPIjKwYV.dpuf