Since California Globe reported February 19 about Sen. Scott Wiener’s and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman’s controversial sex offender registry bill, we were told amendments were forthcoming.
Sen. Wiener’s Senate website describes the bill:
Sponsored by Equality California and the Los Angeles County District Attorney, SB 145 puts a stop to LGBT young people going on the sex offender registry, when similarly situated young straight people do not
SB 145, by Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Eggman (D-Stockton), as it was originally written, said offenders would not have to automatically register as sex offenders if the offenders are within 10 years of age of the minor.
The bill is sponsored by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office. California Globe reached out to DA Lacey several times, but she and her office declined to comment.
In the interim, amendments had not been made to the bill until Monday March 4, outlined below copied directly from the bill. Notably, Assemblywoman Eggman has been removed from the bill.
Existing law, the Sex Offender Registration Act, amended by Proposition 35 by voters in 2012 (Ban on Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery), requires a person convicted of a certain sex crime to register with law enforcement as a sex offender while residing in California or while attending school or working in California.
As it was written prior to amendments, SB 145 would allow a sex offender who lures a minor with the intent to commit a felony (i.e. a sex act) the ability to escape registering as a sex offender as long as the offender is within 10 years of age of the minor. No specification is made as to whether the sexual offender is straight or LGBT. “SB 145 appears to allow adults to victimize minors by luring them with the intent to have sex, and then shields the predator from being automatically registered as a sex offender, as in the case of a 25 year old luring a 15 year old for sex,” I wrote Feb. 19.
The statute’s 14 year age limitation does not apply to luring, so in effect, 19-year-olds luring 9-year-olds and 20-year-olds luring 10-year-olds would not automatically have been mandated to register as sex offenders.
Also notable is this: “This bill would authorize a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors to seek discretionary relief from the duty to register if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor. minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register.”
290.55. (a)A person convicted of If the only offense that requires a person to register pursuant to Section 290 is an offense specified in subdivision (b) (b), the person may, by writ of mandate, seek discretionary relief from the duty, imposed as a result of that conviction, to register pursuant to the act if, at the time of the offense, the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor, as measured from the minor’s date of birth to the person’s date of birth.
Wiener says, “Currently, for consensual yet illegal sexual relations between a teenager age 15 and over and a partner within 10 years of age, ‘sexual intercourse’ (i.e., vaginal intercourse) does not require the offender to go onto the sex offender registry; rather, the judge decides based on the facts of the case whether sex offender registration is warranted or unwarranted. By contrast, for other forms of intercourse — specifically, oral and anal intercourse — sex offender registration is mandated under all situations, with no judicial discretion.”
“This bill would authorize a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors to seek discretionary relief from the duty to register if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor,” SB 145 states.
However, even with the amendments, it is still unclear how lowering or eradicating registration for offenders due to age difference of the offender and victim is relevant to LGBTQ persons. However, including vaginal intercourse in the penal code would legally remedy what Sen. Wiener sees as discrimination.
The bill amendments:
|Introduced by Senator Wiener|
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Eggman)
|January 18, 2019|
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
Vote: majority Appropriation: no Fiscal Committee: yes Local Program: no
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 288.3 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
(a) (1) Every person who contacts or communicates with a minor, or attempts to contact or communicate with a minor, who knows or reasonably should know that the person is a minor, with intent to commit an offense specified in Section 207, 209, 261, 264.1, 273a, 286, 287, 288, 288.2, 289, 311.1, 311.2, 311.4 or 311.11, orformer Section 288a, or, except as otherwise specified in paragraph (2), Section 286, 287, or 289, involving the minor shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for the term prescribed for an attempt to commit the intended offense.
SECTION 1.SEC. 2.
Section 290.55 is added to the Penal Code, immediately following Section 290.5, to read:
(a) A person convicted of If the only offense that requires a person to register pursuant to Section 290 is an offense specified in subdivision (b) (b), the personmay, by writ of mandate, seek discretionary relief from the duty, imposed as a result of that conviction, to register pursuant to the act if, at the time of the offense, the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor, as measured from the minor’s date of birth to the person’s date of birth.
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