[UPDATED with Yorba Linda and Lake Forest Votes:] Hugo Godinez, Sex Offender Busted in County Park, is Ammo for Two More Cities Considering Bans

UPDATE, NOV. 16, 4:05 P.M.: The Yorba Linda City Council voted unanimously Tuesday for an ordinance on first reading to keep registered sex offenders out of city parks unless they first get permission from the Brea Police Department, which also patrols Yorba Linda.

The ordinance would be enacted 30 days after it is approved on second reading.

"Yorba Linda is the first city in the northeast corner of our county to create Child Safety Zones to protect children," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas says in a statement issued by his office this afternoon. "Thank you to Yorba Linda City Council for claiming the parks for parents and children and helping to keep them safe from predators."

Yorba Linda's ordinance is modeled after one written by Rackauckas and county Supervisor Shawn Nelson that applies to county parks and recreational areas. It was passed in April.

The Lake Forest City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to have a similar ordinance brought before it on Dec. 6.

Courtesy of OCDA
Hugo Godinez
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 15, 4:15 P.M.: When representatives of the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) appear tonight before the city councils of Yorba Linda and Lake Forest in bids to get each city to enact bans on registered sex offenders in parks, they'll have a fresh new case to point to as evidence the laws work.

Hugo Godinez, 29, of Santa Ana, was found guilty Monday of violating the county's ordinance drafted by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Supervisor Shawn Nelson and enacted in April. A month later, Godinez, who is registered as a sex offender for life, was caught entering Mile Square Park, the county regional park in Fountain Valley.

Godinez, who was also convicted of one misdemeanor count of failing to register and show proof of residency upon release from incarceration, faces up to a year in jail at his sentencing hearing Thursday in Westminster.

He is a registered sex offender with the Costa Mesa Police Department due to a June 23, 2010, conviction of one misdemeanor count of sexual battery. Godinez had signed paperwork indicating he knew he had to re-register in other jurisdictions if he changed his address, and three days before his arrest at the regional park he'd talked with his probation officer about the county ban on registered sex offenders in recreational areas where children gather, according to the OCDA.

Under the so-called Child Safety Zone Ordinance, registered sex offenders cannot enter parks unless they first get the permission from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, if it is a regional facility, or the local police department, if it is a city that has passed a similar ban.

La Habra, Westminster and Los Alamitos have enacted ordinances that mirror the county's. Irvine's misdemeanor law applies only to registered sex offenders who have preyed on children. Laguna Hills and Huntington Beach passed laws like the county's on first reading last week. Besides Yorba Linda and Lake Forest, bans are also being considered by Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and San Juan Capistrano.

Transient Richard Ernest Hibbard, 72, in August became the first to be convicted under the county ordinance for being "belligerent" around children at Dana Point Harbor, which is a Child Safety Zone. He was sentenced to 31 days in jail.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Fitzpatrick is scheduled to appear at tonight's 7 p.m. Lake Forest City Council meeting, when the idea of proposing an ordinance similar to the county's is to be discussed during public comments. Senior Assistant District Attorney Mary Anne McCauley does the same at the 7 p.m. Yorba Linda City Council meeting, where a pervs-in-parks ban has its first reading.

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Robert Curtis
Robert Curtis

Here is the problem with these ordinances they disregard a Registrants right to be with their children.  The whole premise was to allow exceptions by the Sheriff's dept. but the Sheriff said she's not going to authorize any exception.   Of course NOT because it would violate her position as a law enforcement officer.  This was the condition by which it was passed by the OC Supervisors.  I call it a bate and switch tactic committed by the DA's office using the Sheriff's department as the fall guy!  Sad for those RSO that have kids and wish to be there in the parks with them.  This is more than a Constitutional issue it is an issue of a parent's RIGHTS to be in public parks with their child.  I know if something happened to my child in a park and I was disallowed to be there with my child I would want to seek legal action.  In parks kids get hurt sometimes.  This is a law suit looking for a place to happen!


So, he is a mere misdemeanant -- a minor offense. And the offense for which he was convicted has nothing to do with children, nor does it even have to do with abducting even an adult. Yet, he is being banned from a park, a beach, any place where children congregate, and this ban is for the entire rest of his life -- so maybe for another 60 years or so.

Why!!!? This is so mindless. And utterly pointless. And expensive! This action has zero bearing on the offense for which he was convicted -- and a mere misdemeanor at that. People don't even realize we are imposing all the horrendous, punishing sex offender crap on mere misdemeanants. And on any number of other offenses that had nothing to do with children. And for decades and decades and decades and decades to come no matter how good a life the people might go on to live. Why?!

The police surveillance to see if he is going to a park. The prosecution cost, and diverting a prosecutor from taking on another actually important case instead. The court costs. And the cost of the jail -- and not having a cell for someone else who might actually be important to jail. And the record keeping on this new offense for many, many years to come. Even setting aside consideration of the unfair nature of this law, the cost of it alone should set off alarms. 

This is just an exercise is mass stupidity. In mass psychosis. I mass mindless, unknowing hate. 

Get a grip on yourselves, people.


Yay! Misdemeanor convictioninevitably turned into a life time of crime and incarceration. Not sure about you, but I feel a hell of a lot safer. Good thing the state / county / cities are not in a financial predicament.

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