By Matt Coker
Orange County can be a pretty hostile place if you are a sex offender, witness the bans on pervs in parks the district attorney's office has pushed for and the personal information about parolees made public thanks to the likes of county Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
So, perhaps it is with some added gusto that a Tustin law firm is trumpeting a client getting his sex offender scarlet letter removed.
The unidentified fellow had been arrested and convicted in 1996 for misdemeanor indecent exposure after removing all his clothing and running around the front yard of his residence in an undisclosed Orange County city. (If I had a nickel for every time I . . . uh . . . moving on . . .)
That stupid act cost him 26 days in jail, three years of probation and fines. But a far worse penalty was having to register as a sex offender as the designation doubly penalized him by forcing him out of government-assisted housing he'd been living in for 47 years.
After living as a registered sex offender for 16 years and looking at a lifetime as one, the man turned to Stephen D. Klarich, a founding partner with Tustin's Wallin & Klarich and a specialist in sex offender law. The first thing the lawyer did was refer the client to a psychologist, who conducted an examination and wrote a report claiming the man had been rehabilitated. The report was rolled into a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation that Klarich sought from Orange County Superior Court.
At a subsequent hearing involving Klarich's client and others seeking certificates of rehabilitation, the fellow who'd run around his yard nekkid was the only one to get a certificate that day, according to the lawyer.
Losing the sex offender tag, Klarich claims, has allowed his client to return to government housing, seek employment he'd previously been barred from obtaining and go on to live a productive life with his wife.
Just watch how you celebrate, buddy.