Calif. bill seeks more limits on sex offenders |

Calif. bill seeks more limits on sex offenders

Cathy Bussewitz
Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – The California Assembly voted Thursday to place greater restrictions on where some registered sex offenders can live and sent the measure to the governor for consideration.

Under the bill passed 61-0, those on probation for sex crimes against children could not live within a half-mile of their victim’s home.

“A child victim deserves this type of protection,” said Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena. “They deserve to feel safe in their community and not have their attacker living around the corner.”

The bill, SB1253, was sponsored by the California State Sheriffs’ Association. It now heads to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for possible final approval.

Under “Jessica’s Law,” approved by California voters in 2006. registered sex offenders cannot reside within 2,000 feet of a school or park.

That rule was prompted by the case of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who was kidnapped, raped and buried alive by a convicted sex offender near her home in Florida.

Critics have said such laws leave sex offenders with no place to live and can lead to more dangerous communities as offenders roam the streets.

California state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, who authored the latest bill, said officials must consider the well-being of children.

“Being forced to walk by the house of their molester in order to get to and from school will do nothing to help a child get over the tragedy of being molested,” he said.

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