The cities of Anaheim and Grand Terrace have agreed to suspend enforcement of sex offender ordinances that prohibit registered citizens from visiting public parks and other recreational areas. The cities reached this agreement with California RSOL after the organization notified them of recent appellate court decisions that such ordinances were preempted by state law and therefore could not be lawfully enforced.
“These agreements are significant victories for registered citizens throughout the state of California,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “They will allow more than 105,000 citizens, their family members and friends to enjoy the recreational opportunities in those cities.”
“City ordinances that restrict the presence of registered citizens are based upon several myths including the myth of stranger danger,” stated CA RSOL board member Charlene Steen. “The facts are that more than 90 percent of sexual assaults upon children are perpetrated by family members, teachers, coaches and members of the clergy.”
California RSOL sent letters to 72 cities on January 20 notifying them of the recent decisions made by the California Court of Appeal which declared void the presence restrictions adopted by both Orange County and the City of Irvine. The letters demanded that the remaining cities with such ordinances repeal them within 60 days or be faced with the possibility of a legal challenge.
Since issuance of the demand letter, more than 10 cities have agreed either to repeal or stay enforcement of their ordinances until the California Supreme Court decided whether to grant review of the Court of Appeal decisions.
“We are prepared to file a lawsuit in federal district court on March 24 challenging the ordinance of one city that has failed to repeal or stayed enforcement of its ordinance,” stated Bellucci. “Additional lawsuits are expected to be filed if cities continue to violate the constitution by enforcing ordinances which prohibit registered citizens from visiting parks, beaches and other recreational areas.”