Governor Schwarzenegger Proposes Toughest Sex Offender Laws in the History of the State of California
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today proposed the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act, which would give California the most stringent sex offender laws in the history of the state.
"Protecting public safety is my first priority and I want to provide greater protection for all Californians, especially our children, against sexual predators. The Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act will give California the strictest sex offender laws we have ever had and ensure our state has the toughest penalties for the worst crimes," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "We want these criminals off the streets and away from our schools and children. Today we are making it perfectly clear to all the cowards who want to victimize innocent Californians: we will stop you, we will catch you and we will punish you."
The Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act (SB 588 and AB 231) as proposed by the Governor today is being carried by Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) and Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley). The Act strengthens punishments, expands parole periods, keeps sex offenders away from schools and places where children frequently play, provides tools for tracking and control of paroled offenders and toughens punishments for the use of "date rape" drugs, child pornography and using the internet to lure children into sex crimes.
"These predators have been preying on our most vulnerable for too long," said Assemblywoman Runner. "Secrecy is their biggest tool to victimize our children and families. As a legislator, mother and soon to be grandmother, I feel my most important job is to keep these predators away from our children and within our sights."
Specifically, the legislation:
- Requires registered sex offenders to wear a global positioning device for the rest of their lives.
- Establishes the Predator Free Zone 2,000 feet from park where kids play and their schools.
- Increases penalties for the possession of child pornography to a misdemeanor or felony, and automatically makes it a felony for second or more offenses.
- Ensures sexually violent predators, prior to their parole, stay in a secure hospital until they can prove to a court they no longer pose a danger to society.
- Makes it illegal to lure kids into online relationships with lewd intentions.
- Establishes a sentence enhancement of five years for rapists who use a date rape drug.
- Eliminates "good time" prison credits for habitual sex offenders.
- Expands parole terms up to 10 years for predators who commit the most heinous crimes.
- Expands and strengthens our basic sexual assault punishment statutes, including those for "One Strike" Sex Crimes, "Habitual Sex Offenders," and "Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child."
"We need to equip our law enforcement with the best technology available in order to stop these predators from flying under the radar. Requiring GPS monitoring of sex offenders will be a huge deterrent and prevent many children from being victimized in the future," said Senator Runner.
Governor Schwarzenegger has worked to protect public safety and expand victims' rights in California since taking office. Specifically, Governor Schwarzenegger has signed legislation to strengthen Megan's law; worked to pass Proposition 69 to expand the state's DNA database; protected the integrity of California's Three Strike's Law by defeating Proposition 66; increased the ability of crime victims to participate in parole hearings; improved victim restitution laws; and appointed victim advocates to statewide commissions and offices.
Attached is the following additional information regarding the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act: A side-by-side comparison of current law vs. the provisions of this Act and a statewide and regional contact list for leaders in support of the Act.
Links to the full text of the Act are below (links are to www.leginfo.ca.gov):