Southern California breaking news and trends

Lawsuit blocks Prop 35, new voter-approved sex trafficking law in CA

Judge's gavel court

s_falkow/Flickr Creative Commons

A federal court judge blocked implementation of Proposition 35 while groups pursue a First Amendment lawsuit.

A judge has granted a stay temporarily blocking the implementation of Proposition 35 while the ACLU of Northern California and Electronic Frontier Foundation pursue a First Amendment challenge to the proposition. 

The measure passed overwhelmingly on Tuesday with 81 percent voting yes, the highest amount of any proposition on the California ballot. Proposition 35 would enact tougher penalties to those convicted of sex trafficking. More controversially, it also requires registered sex offenders to notify police of their online screen names any time they register with a website. 

According to the lawsuit, that requirement is overly broad in that registered sex offenders must tell police within 24 hours if they, for example,  comment on a news article, or join a political chatroom, and are by definition, not able to participate anonymously on the internet in any way.


Sex offenders banned: Seal Beach to adopt 'child safety zone'

seal beach pier

Photo by Brande Jackson via Flickr Creative Commons

Seal Beach is one step away from officially banning sex offenders from beaches, jetties, piers, parks and nearby parking lots. On Monday night, the city council voted 5-0 to approve the law. If adopted in the next meeting, the OC beach would be the latest SoCal city to institute this sort of sexual predator precaution modeled after a similar county law, explains the OC Register.

Called a "child safety zone," the new law would make it a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to enter recreational areas where children gather. A first conviction would lead to a maximum of six months in jail or a fine up to $500 or both.

Fullerton was first Orange County city to fight back with legislation to keep sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of parks, schools and daycare centers. Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Westminster, and Yorba Linda have similar measures in place.