Allred at Capitol for victims bill

by CalWatchdog Staff | April 8, 2010 1:55 pm

APRIL 8, 2010


Usually when celebrity media lawyer Gloria Allred makes a public appearance, there is a circus and an entourage of celebrity seekers along with her. However, Allred made an unusual appearance Tuesday before the Senate Public Safety Committee proposing a victims rights bill, without the usual entourage of celebrity seekers.

The bill, SB834 by Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, seeks to protect the privacy and safety of victims who are minors, and who testify in criminal matters. The bill would authorize the court to issue orders prohibiting the defendant, or any friends or family of the defendant, from having any contact or communications with the minor victim or any friends or family of the victim. The bill language extends to harassing a victim through Internet social pages and online friends. Violation would be punishable in criminal court.

The bill is designed to prevent further victimization of crime victims. However, opponents of the bill said it is overreaching in that the state already has stay-away order laws in place. Ignacio Hernandez with California Attorneys For Criminal Justice, testified that current law affords justice already to victims.

Allred’s client, Autumn Albin, aspiring model and minor child victim of fashion designer Anand Jon, testified on behalf of Florez’s bill to stop the on-line harassment of child crime victims by the perpetrators and their associates. Persons known to Jon are alleged to have violated Albin’s court-protected privacy by publishing her name on the Internet and contacting her online friends with her story.

Jon was convicted of sex crimes against a number of aspiring models last year and of two counts of committing a lewd and lascivious act on a child under the age of fourteen.

While Allred and Florez said the bill is specifically designed to protect minors’ privacy, Senator Rod Wright had concerns about the defendants’ rights and potential accusations levied at defendants resulting in lifetime stay away orders.

Allred, described as a prominent women’s rights attorney, is most known for representing such media personalities as Amber Frey (Scott Peterson’s mistress), “Octo-mom” Nayda Suleman, Tiger Woods’ mistress, and Jesse James’ “mistress number four.” In the past week it was announced that Allred is representing Tiger Woods’ former kindergarten teacher, and is involved in the Jaycee Dugard case, representing Dugard’s biological father.

The crime against Albin is horrific, and while opponents of the bill were insistent that Albin and other victims have legal remedies in existing state law, Allred said that the damage has already been done to Albin, making this bill necessary.

Video of the press conference:  – Senator Dean Florez on SB834

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