Voyeurism bill shut down

March 9, 2010

By KATY GRIMES

Fulfilling a request by the Riverside County District Attorney, Assembly member Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, introduced legislation last month requiring any person convicted of inappropriate sexual filming offenses to register as a sex offender.

AB 1688, “Sex Offenders Filming,” would require anyone convicted of electronically filming another person without the consent of that person, to register with local law enforcement authorities as a sex offender, under the Sex Offender registration Act.

In an Assembly hearing this week, Deputy District Attorney Rob Hightower, with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office, explained the necessity of the new “voyeurism law” because this type of sex offender is “slipping through the cracks.” Even with conviction, the offense would remain a misdemeanor under the new law, however the offender would now be required to register as a sex offender.

Hightower said that the bill has the support of district attorneys throughout the state including San Francisco DA Kamala Harris.

Liberty Sanchez with the Public Defenders Association appeared in opposition to the bill explaining that the current sex offender registry is already overpopulated with a total of 90,000 registrants, and 1 out of every 157 males in California makes the registry. Sanchez said that there was a need to focus on the high-risk offenders and not just keep adding to the list because of overly broad definitions. Sex offenders are classified as “high-risk” when they have met the sex offense criteria and have been convicted of multiple violent crimes, at least one of which was a violent sex crime within the prior five years.

The California Sex Offender Registry was created in 1947 and does not remove names, which according to Hightower, is the reason for 90,000 listed sex offenders.

This bill would require persons convicted of a sex offense to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act. Because this bill would create a new crime, and because additional persons would have to be registered as sex offenders by local officials, it would impose a new state-mandated local program.

Committee chair Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, made it clear that he was not supporting AB 1688 after all of the testimony: “There are already too many people labeled sex offenders and we can’t afford to aggravate the system at this time.”

The bill’s author, Assembly member Kevin Jeffries, R-Lake Elsinore, sent out a Twitter message right after the hearing that read, “My bill AB 1688 was killed on party line vote in committee today, choosing criminal rights over victim’s (and neighbor’s) rights. Again.”

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  1. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 9 March, 2010, 15:36

    So what this wants to do is list the 12 year old with a cell phone camera in with the true criminals that rape, abuse and even kill women, girls and even boys?

    This is truly an obscene idea! What happens to this kid then? He can’t live within a certain distance of a school? Can he still GO to school? And for the rest of his life he can’t find a place to live or get a job because of a single blurry picture of a 12 year olds’ training bra?

    Reply this comment
  2. Bob
    Bob 9 March, 2010, 21:56

    Larry,

    So, you are saying it’s ok for a criminal to film up the skirt, down the shirt and whatever else they want to do to a 5 year old girl, put it on the internet, and send it out to all of their ‘friends’? Neighbors shouldn’t know about that? Come on.

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  3. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 10 March, 2010, 16:43

    Don’t be a fool Bob. All I SAID was ruining a twelve year olds life was ridiculous.
    Should a kid be punished? Yes, of course!
    Should his/her life be ruined over a _COMMON_ adolescent prank? Never!

    Reply this comment
  4. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 11 March, 2010, 14:22

    Agreed. Too many lives of younger folks are being ruined with sex offender labeling for things that are either akin to pranks, or considered normal adolescent sexual activity just 20 years ago. Let’s save the labeling for truly dangerous sex offenders and not as just another feather in a prosecutors cap.

    Reply this comment
  5. Marget
    Marget 1 April, 2010, 22:37

    Hei everybody, Happy April Fool’s Day!!!

    It was three o’clock in the morning, and the receptionist at a posh hotel was just dozing off, when a little old lady came running towards her, screaming. “Please come quickly!” she yelled, “I just saw a naked man outside my window!!!” The receptionist immediately rushed up to the old lady’s room.
    “Where is he?” asked the receptionist.
    “He’s over there,” replied the little old lady, pointing to an apartment building opposite the hotel. The receptionist looked over and could see a man with no shirt on, moving around his apartment.
    “It’s probably a man who’s getting ready to go to bed,” she said reassuringly. “And how do you know he’s naked, you can only see him from the waist up?”
    “The dresser, honey!” screamed the old lady. “Try standing on the dresser!”

    Happy April Fool’s Day!

    Reply this comment

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