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Lake Forest Votes To Repeal Sex Offender Law

Posted on December 6, 2012

The parents of children who live in Lake Forest may want to think twice before letting their children go to the park without adult supervision. Children in Lake Forest may be exposed to hidden dangers that may rob them of their innocence.

The Lake Forest City Council has voted to repeal an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from parks, saying the city can’t afford the potential legal liability of the controversial law.

Location map of Lake Forest, California within...

Location map of Lake Forest, California within Orange County, California. Created using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Category:California city locator maps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In doing so, Lake Forest becomes the first Orange County city to reject the law, which Orange County prosecutors have lobbied local governments to adopt. The repeal requires a second vote by the council, which is scheduled for December 18.

About half of Orange County’s 34 cities have adopted the law, which bars registered sex offenders from parks and beaches. And of those cities, nearly half are being sued.

The law’s legality became murky last month after a panel of Superior Court judges overturned the conviction of a registered sex offender who was sentenced to 100 days in jail for attending a 2011 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Orange County’s Mile Square Park.

The judges also asked the state Court of Appeal to review the case and the law’s legality, pointing out that restrictions on sex offenders are made by the state legislature.

The appeals court has until December 15 to decide whether to take up the case.

The Orange County district attorney has pushed cities to adopt the law, even as Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has told deputies to stop enforcing it. The Sheriff’s Department oversees law enforcement in much of South Orange County, including Lake Forest.

City Council members asked District Attorney Tony Rackauckas whether his agency would indemnify the city for damages from lawsuits challenging the ban’s constitutionality. One such suit against Lake Forest and three other Orange County cities is pending in federal court.

Rackauckas told council members Tuesday they shouldn’t buckle under such threats from sex offenders. He added the request for indemnification was “a grandstand play.”

If your child was the victim of a heinous crime that was caused by negligence or some other form of reckless behavior, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

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