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OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release



 


April 5, 2011

Contacts:

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO ADOPT NEW LAW TO KEEP REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS OUT OF PARKS, HARBORS, BEACHES AND PLAYGROUNDS

 

SANTA ANA – The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted today to adopt a new County Ordinance to create a child safety zone to further protect children from registered sex offenders. The Ordinance was developed and proposed by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson (Fourth District) and makes it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to enter County recreational areas where children regularly gather without permission from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD). The Ordinance will take effect Thursday, May 5, 2011, and be enforced in County parks and harbors by OCSD.

 

“Orange County has taken a huge step in creating a safety zone for our children,” stated District Attorney Rackauckas. “Parks, harbors, and beaches belong to families and children, not registered sex offenders.”   

 

“I am proud the Board of Supervisors has taken a stand for children and approved this ordinance,” stated Supervisor Nelson. “A gap in the law was identified and now law enforcement has the authority they need to remove registered sex offenders from children’s play areas.”

 

California Penal Code sections 290, et seq. require individuals convicted of certain crimes to register as sex offenders. The registration process is used to ensure that such offenders shall be readily available for police surveillance at all times because such offenders are deemed likely to commit similar offenses in the future.

 

Orange County offers regional recreational facilities, including historical and natural resources, as part of OC Community Resources and OC Dana Point Harbor. Nearly 60,000 acres of parkland and open space include regional and wilderness parks, nature preserves, recreational trails, historic sites, harbors, and beaches where children regularly gather. Typical amenities in these areas include picnic and barbecue facilities, campgrounds, maintained hiking trails, playgrounds, and various learning centers where families regularly visit. Accordingly, Orange County regional recreational facilities have been identified as areas where children regularly gather. The newly passed Ordinance seeks to protect children by restricting registered sex offenders’ access to these locations. 

 

This Ordinance defines an Orange County Park 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.

 

Violators may be punished with up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

 

The Ordinance is on the following page.

 

 

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.

 

 

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