XII. SEX OFFENSES

Children and Minors

SB 2161 (Leslie): Chapter 461: Sexually Violent Offenses: Certificates of Rehabilitation. (Amends Penal Code Section 290.5; and, adds Welfare and Institutions Code Section 6600.1.)

Existing law specifies procedures for the civil commitment of sexually violent predators. For these purposes, existing law defines a “sexually violent offense” as a specified sex offense committed by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury upon the victim or another person.

This bill adds specified nonviolent sex offenses involving substantial sexual conduct upon a child under the age of 14 years, to that list of offenses.

Existing law authorizes a person who is required to register annually with local law enforcement officials as a sex offender, to petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon. Upon obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation, that person is relieved of any further duty to register as a sex offender. Failure to register when required is a misdemeanor.

This bill provides that the person is relieved of any further duty to register upon receipt of the certificate of rehabilitation if he or she is not in custody, on parole, or on probation.

AB 295 (Baldwin): Chapter 1080: Child Pornography: Reporting. (Amends Penal Code Sections 311, 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.11, 312.3, and 11166; and, adds Penal Code Sections 312.6 and 312.7.)

Existing law defines the term “matter” for purposes of the provisions governing obscene matter and child pornography. This bill expands the definition of the term “matter” to include computer images, and to update the definition for other technological advances.

Existing law requires a commercial film and photographic print processor, who has knowledge of or observes a film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child under the age of 14 years engaged in an act of sexual conduct, to report the instance of suspected child abuse to a law enforcement agency.

This bill requires the report when the child is under 16 years of age.

AB 1012 (Machado): Chapter 689: Sex Crimes Against Pupils: Sentencing. (Amends Penal Code Section 626; and, adds Penal Code Section 1170.86.)

Existing law provides that when a judgment of imprisonment is to be imposed, and the statute specifies three possible terms, the court shall order imposition of the middle term, unless there are circumstances in aggravation or mitigation of the crime. Existing law specifies facts which shall be considered a “circumstance in aggravation of a crime” in imposing a term under this provision.

This bill provides that when a person is convicted of a specified felony sex offense, and the felony was committed within a safe school zone, as defined, against a victim who was a pupil currently attending school, this fact must be considered a circumstance in aggravation in imposing a term under this provision.

AB 1734 (Frusetta): Chapter 1079: Obscene Matter: Minors. (Amends Penal Code Sections 311, 311.1, 311.2, 311.3, 311.4, 311.11, 312.3, and 1524; and, adds Penal Code Sections 312.6 and 312.7.)

Existing law defines the term “matter” for purposes of the provisions governing obscene matter and child pornography.

This bill expands the definition of the term “matter” to include computer images, and to update the definition for other technological advances.

Existing law specifies the grounds upon which a search warrant may be issued, including a circumstance in which the property or things to be seized consist of evidence that tends to show that sexual exploitation of a child has occurred or is occurring.

This bill adds to those grounds, a circumstance in which the property or things to be seized consist of evidence that tends to show that possession of matter depicting sexual conduct of a person under the age of 18 years has occurred or is occurring.

AB 2014 (Boland): Chapter 130: Statute of Limitations: Sex Crimes Against Children. (Amends Penal Code Section 803.)

Existing law establishes specified limitation periods for filing criminal complaints for specified sex offenses against children. (Penal Code Section 803.)

This bill establishes the express retroactivity of time limitation provisions controlling specified child molestation offenses, and statutorily revives certain causes of action otherwise possibly barred under existing statutory law.

AB 3339 (Hoge): Chapter 596: Chemical Castration. (Repeals and adds Penal Code Section 645.)

Existing law specifies the punishment for sex offenses where the victim is a child, and provides that the court may direct an operation to be performed upon the offender for the prevention of procreation where the victim is a female under the age of 10 years.

This bill repeals the latter provision and provides instead that any person guilty of a first conviction of specified sex offenses, where the victim is under 13 years of age, may be punished by medroxyprogesterone acetate treatment, upon parole, in addition to any other punishment prescribed by law. The bill requires this punishment upon a second conviction.

General

SB 1378 (Peace): Chapter 909: Registered Sex Offenders: Re-registering. (Amends Penal Code Section 290.)

This bill reduces the time period for registering as a sex offender from 14 to 5 working days, as specified. This bill also reduces the time period for a sex offender to notify law enforcement of a change in residence address from 10 to 5 working days, as specified.

This bill also requires a sex offender to re-register when he or she changes his or her name.

AB 1496 (Sher): Chapter 4: Sexually Violent Predators. URGENCY MEASURE (Amends Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6601 and 6602; and, adds and repeals Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6601.3 and 6601.5.)

Existing law specifies procedures for the civil commitment of sexually violent predators. The law is unclear as to whether a person who was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections on January 1, 1996, when the Act became operative, may be held past his or her scheduled release date, when the scheduled release date occurs before a final determination of civil commitment.

This bill authorizes the Board of Prison Terms to order a possible sexually violent predator to remain in custody for up to 45 days for the purposes of an evaluation. It also authorizes a judge to order such a person to be detained in a secure facility after a finding of probable cause that the person is a sexually violent predator.

AB 1562 (Alby): Chapter 908: Public Notification of Registered Sex Offenders: “Megan’s Law.” URGENCY MEASURE (Amends Penal Code Sections 290 and 290.4.)

Existing law requires the Department of Justice to operate a 1-900 number which members of the public can call to learn if a specified person is a registered sex offender who has committed specified acts of child molestation. (Penal Code sec. 290.)

This bill expands the scope of the 1-900 law to include additional sex offenses, including specified sex offenses not committed against children. This bill also expands the kind of information the 1-900 line contains.

Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain a subdirectory of persons who are deemed by the department to be sexual habitual offenders and a threat to the public safety.

This bill repeals the subdirectory provisions of current law, and supplants them with an expanded CD-ROM or other electronic media system, as specified.

This bill authorizes law enforcement agencies to provide specified information about registered sex offenders to persons “likely to encounter” a registered sex offender if a peace officer “reasonably suspects, based on information that has come to his or her attention through information provided by any peace officer or member of the public, that a child or other person may be at risk” from certain offenders.

This bill authorizes law enforcement to “cause to be made public, by whatever means the agency deems necessary to ensure public safety based upon information available to the agency concerning a specific person,” information about registered sex offenders who have committed specified multiple sexual and violent offenses.

This bill contains penalty provisions for misuse of released information, and provides that “law enforcement agencies, employees of law enforcement agencies, and State officials shall be immune from liability for good faith conduct under this section.”

AB 1901 (Alby): Chapter 129: Certificates of Rehabilitation. URGENCY MEASURE (Amends Penal Code Sections 290.5 and 4852.13.)

Existing law generally provides that any person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor sex offense may file a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon. If, after hearing, the court finds that the petitioner has demonstrated, by his or her course of conduct, his or her rehabilitation and his or her fitness to exercise all of the civil and political rights of citizenship, the court is required to make an order declaring that the petitioner has been rehabilitated, and recommend that the Governor grant a full pardon to the petitioner. Existing law further provides that a certificate of rehabilitation relieves a sex offender from the duty to register.

This bill provides that the court shall have the discretion, rather than the duty, to make an order declaring the rehabilitation of a petitioner and recommendation that the Governor grant a full pardon to the petitioner.

This bill further provides that specified sex offenders are not relieved of the duty to register as a sex offender unless they obtain a pardon from the Governor

AB 2017 (Escutia): Chapter 981: Sex Offenders: Certificates of Rehabilitation (Amends Penal Code Sections 290.4, 4852.01, 4852.03, 4852.05, 4852.06, and 4852.13.)

Existing law generally permits any person who is convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor violation of any of specified sex offenses, to file a petition for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon if the person has not been incarcerated since that dismissal, is not on probation for the commission of any other felony, and presents satisfactory evidence of a three-year residence in California. Existing law also authorizes the court to grant the certificate of rehabilitation if it finds that the petitioner has demonstrated his or her rehabilitation.

This bill extends the required rehabilitation period from three to five years, and further requires the court to rescind a certificate of rehabilitation upon petition filed by a district attorney, as specified, showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the person presents a continuing threat to minors.

AB 2104 (Machado): Chapter 1026: Mentally Disordered Persons: Commitment to Facilities: Sex Offenders. (Amends Penal Code Sections 1370, 1370.1, and 11105; and, amends Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6509 and 7325.)

Existing law provides that a mentally incompetent person cannot be tried or adjudged to punishment.

This bill makes changes to the law regarding mentally incompetent defendants, including the following:

Require the prosecutor in a proceeding to determine mental competence, if the action is in a complaint charging a specified felony sex offense, to determine:
1) whether the defendant previously has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial on a complaint charging any specified felony sex offense;
2) whether the defendant is currently the subject of a pending proceeding to determine whether the defendant is mentally competent to stand trial on a complaint charging a specified felony sex offense.

If either determination is made, the prosecutor shall notify the court and defendant. After notification and an opportunity for hearing, the court shall order that the defendant be delivered to a state hospital or other secure treatment facility for the care and treatment of the mentally disordered or the developmentally disabled, unless the court makes specific findings on the record that an alternative placement would provide more appropriate treatment for the defendant, and would not pose a danger to the health and safety of others.

If a mentally incompetent defendant escapes from custody, this bill requires additional information to be released to the public, specifying:
(1) that information about the degree of dangerousness include specific information about the patient if he or she is deemed likely to cause harm to himself, herself or to others; and
(2) if the escapee has been charged with any crime involving physical harm to children, the notice shall be provided to school districts in the vicinity of the hospital or other facility in which the escapee is being held, in the area the escapee is known or is likely to frequent, and in the area where the escapee resided immediately prior to his or her confinement.

This bill makes numerous related changes.

AB 2127 (Alby): Chapter 917: Sex Offenders: Registration. (Amends Penal Code Sections 290.2 and 243.4.)

Existing law requires persons convicted of specified sex offenses to register as sex offenders, and authorizes courts to require persons convicted of other offenses to also register as sex offenders, as specified. (Penal Code Section 290.)

This bill adds sexual battery to the list of offenses for which registration is required.

Existing law requires specified inmates to provide blood specimens and a saliva sample for DNA analysis and other genetic typing analysis at the Department of Justice's DNA laboratory, and to provide a right thumbprint and a full palm print impression of each hand, prior to discharge, parole, the granting of probation, or release.

This bill requires these persons to provide these blood specimens, saliva samples, thumbprints, and palm prints regardless of the time of discharge, parole, granting of probation, or release.

AB 2949 (Harvey): Chapter 1019: Prostitution: Use of Vehicle (Amends Penal Code Section 647; adds Vehicle Code Section 13201.5; and, amends and repeals Vehicle Code Section 22659.5.)

Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to solicit or agree to engage in or to engage in any act of prostitution, which includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.

This bill authorizes a court to suspend for up to 30 days, the privilege of a person to operate a motor vehicle after a conviction for prostitution, when the violation was committed within 1,000 feet of a private residence and with the use of a vehicle.

This bill also adds the County of Kern and any city in that county, to the list of cities and counties authorized to adopt an ordinance establishing a pilot program implementing procedures for declaring a motor vehicle a public nuisance when used in the commission of an act of prostitution.

AB 3130 (Boland): Chapter 462: Sexually Violent Predators. URGENCY MEASURE (Amends Penal Code Sections 1600, 1618, and 3000; amends Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6600, 6601, and 6601.5; and, adds Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6609, 6609.1, 6609.2, and 6609.3.)

Existing laws, AB 888 (Rogan) and SB 1143 (Mountjoy), Chapters 763 and 762, respectively, Statutes of 1994, specify procedures for the civil commitment of sexually violent predators.

This bill provides a number of “clean-up” modifications to the Sexually Violent Predator Act. Specifically, it authorizes a person committed as a sexually violent predator, to be placed on outpatient status; it provides a waiver of liability to the Board of Prison Terms for persons who are considered for placement under a hold by the board; it provides that any finding that a person is a sexually violent predator will not toll, discharge, or otherwise affect that person's period of parole; it expands the definition of “sexual predator” to include acts directed at persons of casual acquaintance with whom no substantial relationship exists; it authorizes the Director of Corrections to refer a person for evaluation less than six months prior to the release date if the inmate was received with less than nine months to serve, or if the release date is modified by judicial or administrative action; it permits an urgency review if an inmate's parole or temporary parole hold will expire before a probable cause hearing is conducted; and it would require that release of sexual predators be reported to local law enforcement agencies in the same way as the existing procedures for reporting of prison inmates who are to be paroled. NOTE: See also SB 2161 (Leslie) and AB 1496 (Sher) for additional amendments to the Sexually Violent Predator Act.

Statutory Rape

AB 1490 (Caldera): Chapter 789: Unlawful Intercourse with a Minor: Civil Penalties. (Amends Penal Code Section 261.5.)

Existing law imposes specified criminal fine and incarceration penalties on adults who engage in sexual intercourse with minors. (Penal Code Sec. 261.5.)

This bill imposes additional civil liabilities on adults who engage in sexual intercourse with minors.

This bill also establishes the “Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund” in the State Treasury, into which some of the monies collected by district attorneys, pursuant to this provision, must be deposited. This bill provides that amounts deposited in the Underage Pregnancy Prevention Fund may be used only for the purpose of preventing underage pregnancy upon appropriation by the Legislature.