[UPDATED with SJC Law on Agenda:] Banning Pervs in Parks Sweeps OC

UPDATE, JUNE 22, 10:09 A.M.: While expressing some concern the county pervs-in-parks ban is too broad, the San Juan Capistrano City Council did decide Tuesday night to bring a local ordinance back for a vote July 5.

Among the options the city with huge swaths of open space will explore are applying bans only to parks frequented by children or to registered sex offenders convicted of having preyed on the young.

UPDATE, JUNE 21, 5:15 P.M.: The San Juan Capistrano City Council tonight becomes the next local Orange County panel to consider extending the county ban on registered sex offenders to city parks.

Susan Kang Schroeder, chief of staff at the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), is scheduled to press the case in favor of a pervs-out-of-parks ordinance after tonight's meeting is called to order at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano.

Irvine approved a watered-down version of the law the Orange County Board of Supervisors adopted in April that slaps misdemeanors on registered sex offenders who do not seek permission from the sheriff's department before entering a county park or other recreational area where children gather. The county ordinance was drafted by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

Irvine ultimately approved a law that targets only sex offenders who have victimized children.

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Rackauckas and Schroeder
UPDATE, JUNE 14, 8:16 A.M.: When the idea of banning registered sex offenders from city parks was brought before the Irvine City Council last month, the panel agreed to have staff bring back a draft proposal--with reservations.

Joined-at-the-hip council members Larry Agran and Beth Krom worried about creating a false sense of security and preoccupying police officers in what's been repeatedly been deemed America's safest city.

So with the issue back on tonight's council agenda, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas is pulling out all the stops. Hellbent on getting Orange County cities in line with the county law he co-wrote with Supervisor Shawn Nelson, T-Rack's scheduled to appear in the Irvine council chambers with his chief of staff Susan Kang Schroeder and various victims' rights advocates.

A media advisory from the DA's office says Erin Runnion of the Joyful Child Foundation and representatives from Divine Choices and Community Service Programs, Inc. will be part of the DA's contingent. It's as if T-Rack is saying, "Try telling the mother of slain little Samantha Runnion you don't need this law in Irvine, Agran."

T-Rack's full-court press is being extended to the public, which he's also asked to join him at the Irvine meeting. His advisory also lists the council's contact information for direct communication:

Irvine City Council: (949) 724-6000
Sukhee Kang, Mayor: sukheekang@ci.irvine.ca.us
Beth Krom, Mayor Pro Tem: bethkrom@ci.irvine.ca.us
Larry Argan, Councilmember: larryagran@ci.irvine.ca.us
Dr. Steven Choi, Councilmember: stevenchoi@ci.irvine.ca.us
Jeffrey Lalloway, Councilmember : jeffreylalloway@ci.irvine.us

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the chambers at 1 Civic Center Plaza in Irvine. The "Child Safety Zones in Parks" item is No. 6 on the agenda.

UPDATE, JUNE 9, 11:46 A.M.: District Attorney Tony Rackauckas last night scored a two-fer in his quest to get all Orange County cities to extend the county ban on sex offenders in parks to city-owned recreational areas. The Rancho Santa Margarita City Council voted unanimously to draft an ordinance patterned after the county's created by T-Rack and Supervisor Shawn Nelson and enacted in April. Meanwhile, the Westminster City Council gave final approval to its own ban set to take effect July 8. Nellie, T-Rack and Erin Runnion have all hailed Westminster's law as the one closest to the county's.

UPDATE, JUNE 8, 8:15 A.M.: A spin of the Wheel of Victimization has stopped on Rancho Santa Margarita, whose city council tonight considers joining the county and other OC cities that have made parks and other public places where children gather off limits to registered sex offenders. 

Councilman Steven Baric proposed the discussion of an ordinance extending the ban the county enacted in April to city parks. Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Fitzpatrick will make the pitch for the Orange County District Attorney's Office, whose bossman, Tony Rackauckas drafted the county ordinance with Supervisor Shawn Nelson.

The county version makes it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to enter county recreational areas where children regularly gather without first receiving permission from Orange County sheriff's deputies.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 22112 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita.

Erin Runnion
UPDATE, MAY 27, 3:40 P.M.: An Orange County supervisor, the district attorney and perhaps the most famous mother of a local crime victim today applauded Westminster officially enacting a ban on registered sex offenders from city parks.

Cheers from Supervisor Shawn Nelson and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas are no surprise since they drafted the similar ordinance enacted by the county in April. They have been lobbying cities to follow suit ever since. But also lending her approval to Westminster's move Thursday night was Erin Runnion, the mother of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, who was abducted from her Stanton home, sexually assaulted and murdered in 2002.

While Alejandro Avila was being tried for Samantha's murder--he was convicted of special circumstances murder and sentenced to the death penalty in 2005--her mother formed the Joyful Child Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for child safety and education.

"It is so important that we rally to insist that the rights of our children come before those of convicted predators," Runnion said in a statement cheering the Westminster vote and distributed by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA). "These are our parks and our children deserve to be safe while they play."

She went on to laud the Westminster Unified School District for piloting the Not One More Child Safety Education Initiative and Rackauckas and municipal leaders "who put children first."

Samantha Runnion
The ordinance, which is the first formally enacted that mirrors the county version, was supported by Mayor Margie Rice and council members Andrew Quach, Tri Ta and the councilman who introduced it, Tyler Diep. Councilman Frank Fry abstained.

"I hope parents of Westminster join me in commending Westminster Mayor Rice, Mayor Pro Tem Diep, and City Council Members Quach and Ta for taking a big step in creating a safety zone for our children and keeping sex offenders out of Westminster parks," Rackauckas says in the same OCDA statement. His senior assistant DA, Mary Anne McCauley, had attended the meeting to press for passage of the ordinance.

"I hope other cities join Westminster and take a stand to protect children from dangerous sex offenders," added Nelson. "A gap in the law was identified and now Westminster police has the authority they need to remove registered sex offenders from children's play areas."

The law makes it a misdemeanor for anyone registered as a sex offender to enter any city of Westminster park where children regularly gather--unless they have written permission from the Westminster Police Department. Violators may be punished with up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Civil libertarians warn such ordinances may be unconstitutional, while parents who must register as sex offenders for relatively minor crimes from years ago--such as urinating in public--have called the laws unfair.

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Also, maybe ADA Fitzpatric has not read the ordinance. He said that "We're not talking about people that the state has felt they don't pose a risk to the public" OK, that would be any and all "Level 1" offenders, who are not listed on the Megan's Law web site, but are still required to register with the local PD. He goes on to say, "This person (who were are talking about) has committed a crime so serious to the extent that they impose a lifetime risk of recidivism." Well, IF what he says is TRUE, if they are really not talking about one but talking about the other, and not just trying to make it look like that to slip it by public opinion, then WHY DOESN"T THE ORDINANCE SAY THAT? Because the COUNTY ordinance refers to ANY person required to register under Penal Code section 290. So if a city passes an similar ordinance, it should CLEARLY STATE that those registrants who are not on the Megan's law web site are exempt.  Because those are the ones the state thinks do not pose a risk to the public, as the ADA said.  IF he was telling the truth.


BTW:  Can someone ask Susan Schroder what she meant, when she addressed the SJC cit council, by saying RSOs can not vote.

Sounds like another lie or half truth.  Convicted felons, of any kind, in prison or on parole, can not vote.  But after that, they can.  So what is so special, according to Schroder, about RSOs in this regard?  I called the OC Registrar of Voters and they said ther is no speciasl provision for RSOs.


What the heck does Erin Runnion have to do with any of THIS?

Her daughter, Samantha, was not taken by a currently registered sex offender (RSO) and she was not taken from a park.And while the those that took Megan ('s Law) Kanka and Jessica ('s Law) Lunsford (other names that "they" like to invoke) were RSOs, neither of those girls was taken from a park. They were taken by RSOs who were ALSO already know Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs).   All three girls were taken from their home/property. But the issue here is not just about SVPs and/or taking children off the street (which is what happens most often) or from their homes.  It's about banning ALL RSOs from parks, no matter how old their crime or it's severity, or lack of it, and no matter how long they have been going to those very same parks, on very lawful business, while now leading law abiding lives for many years. So, again, what does that have to do with Erin Runnion and what happen to Samantha? There are no hordes of RSOs flooding city and county parks looking for children.  As Councilwoman Krom of Irvine said, "This (a ban on ALL  RSOs in the parks) is a solution looking for a problem". Huntington Beach, with it's bloviating Mayor who does not like to let the facts get in the way of his opinions or decision making.  (You can see his complete statement regarding this near the end of their May16th meeting on this issue by going to the HB Council web site. This is also evident in a May 4th Memo he sent to city official misstating the facts as to what other cities were doing in this regard)had 6 sex crimes arrest in their parks last year.  Not all were prosecuted and none involved current RSO. Irvine has had NO sex crimes in it's parks for the last FIVE years. I'm sure it is the same NON-story in other city parks.  They should all put it on the table before going for an ordinance like this.  "It" being, how many sex crimes were commited, by current RSO, in thier city parks?  And how many of those were aganist children? But they wont do that.  Because that would show this for what it is, HYPERBOILC POLITICAL THEATER with the DA, and certain city counil members, as it's cynical star the next election cycle Lastly, the only RSOs who are going to obey the ordinance are those who are now trying to live as law abiding lives as possible.  But THEY are not the ones you have to worry about.  Are they? Does anyone really think that such an ordinance would have any effect on the people that are REALLY the danger.  SVPs like, Rodney Alcala, Lawrence Brown, Phil Gurrido, or John Gardner, if they were out again looking to do their thing? Only one of them, John Gardner, at the last, attacked anyone in a park.  But that was on a remote hiking trail.  Most of there other victims were taken right off the street.   But if they were to go for someone in a park, do you think they would stop to think and say to themselves,  "Here I am, an SVP RSO, and I'm about kidnap and preform some very awful acts on a young person.  All high felonies.  I might even murder them.  But I better be sure and not do that in an Orange County park.  They have that RSO ban there and I would hate to have a week added on to my 580 year sentence if I am caught.  I better do what has always worked in the past and just wait for some kid to be walking home alone and grab him/her off the street". So, in the cities and the county parks that have this ordinance, parents no longer have to watch their kids and they can now tell their kids that it is OK to talk to strangers, because the RSO ban is in place.  And we all know that it is only the REGISTERED S.O.s that are dangerous.


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FBI reports only 16% of all sex offenders are caught and convicted. That means 84% walk free. How do we know Tony Rackauckas is not one of them? I challenge Tony to take a polygraph to prove he is not a child molester..... if he refuses, then he is hiding something... Any polygraph examiners willing to volunteer to do this? Here are the questions:

1. Since reaching the age of 18 have you ever had sexual contact with a family member?2. Since reaching the age of 18 have you ever had sexual contact with a minor?3. Since reaching the age of 18 have you ever had sexual electronic communication with a minor?4. Have you ever had sexual contact with an animal?5. Have you ever created or viewed child pornography?6. Has an underage family member ever saw you nude?7. Have you ever continued to have sexual contact after being asked to stop?8. Have you ever used a position of power to gain sexual favors?9. Have you ever written child sexual erotica?10. Have you knowledge of an abused child and neglected to report the abuse?


Since reaching the age of 18 have you ever had sexual fantasies about a minor?

As you can see, all of our questions, if answered in the positive, indicate a sex crime. We are not out to trip up or embarrass community leaders, so we kept our questions such that only a sex criminal would be indicated.

The optional question does not indicate a crime, only a thought process. Mental health professionals dealing with sex offenders report that aberrant thought processes usually lead to acting out, and it is important for parents to know if their elected and appointed leaders have deviant thoughts about children. If you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, then you will answer the optional question.

Well Tony? Do you accept this challenge or are you hiding something?

In fact, ALL elected officials passing laws should be subjected to this test, if they refuse, then people should ask them what they are hiding...

Testing people not yet convicted would help protect children and help police identify the predators walking among us undetected... Tony?


Arent sex offenders already banned from any place where children or vulnerable persons may congregate? like a park? It looks like a red meat a thon by the GOP for popularist sentiments. Anyway, fuck the pervs get them off the streets.

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@MichaelRS The parks ordinances were enforced by the OC sheriff's Department against ALL 290's even those that were level 1 misdemeanors.  I'm a level 1 misdemeanor registrant and I was told not to go with my son to any park, beach or harbor.  Now after the courts have ruled it unconstitutional it stands to reason that those cops by disallowing me that right were in fact breaking their oath of office by not supporting the Constitution.  It's worse than that every time an officer registered a citizen after they have completed their probation or parole are in fact themselves failing to uphold the US Constitution regardless of what the Supreme Court has ruled.  The Supreme Court allowed for slavery and the killing of Native Americans by the millions and the incarceration of innocent Japanese Americans in WW2!  In time this too will be seen as such a horrible act of tyranny. TRUTH


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