Bill proposed to place social networking sites off limits to sex offenders

Using these sites is 'criminal behavior,' S.F. District attorney says

San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris ia backing new legislation that would make it illegal for registered sex offenders in California to use social networking Web sites.

The legislation, sponsored by Harris and authored by Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona) calls for registered sex offenders who violate the new law to face jail time as a result.

"Registered sex offenders using social networking sites is criminal behavior," Harris said in a statement. "It's time we made it a crime."

She said children and youth use social networking Web sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, as a "playground" and they should be protected from sexual predators.

"When our children are on the Internet, it's like opening the front door of our home," Harris said. "We must shut that door to sex offenders."

Several recent cases in Southern California of sexual predators using social networking sites to assault young victims have emphasized the need for the law, according to Harris.

In November 2009, a 12-year-old girl became acquainted with a 33-year-old man on MySpace and met him at an Anaheim motel where she was sexually assaulted, Harris said.

Also in 2009, a 14-year-old Pomona boy met a 47-year-old man online. The man later pleaded guilty to sodomizing the boy.

A 32-year-old man in Riverside was found to be using a social networking site to convince more than 80 children from 11 to 17 to send him

nude photographs.

"California has the highest population of sex offenders in the nation," Harris said. "It's crucial that we shut off predators' access to our children online."

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Like this comment
Posted by More than that is needed
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:42 am

What is more imprtant is to keep sex offenders in jail rather than pretend they have changed and allow them to live near children.

In Pleasanton, we have registered sex offenders living close to schools. That is wrong, yet it is allowed by law.

How are they going to keep sex offenders from using the social networking sites if they can't even keep them off the streets?

Like this comment
Posted by Wonder why?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:47 am

""California has the highest population of sex offenders in the nation," Harris said"

An why do you think that is? California is too liberal in that area, and the police don't take concern calls seriously.

Look at the Dugart case. That guy was already convicted and set free. Neighbors complained to the police, and yet an innocent girl went through something horrible because of the failure of the police to take calls seriously, and California's inability to be tough on sex offenders.

It seems like the rights of sex offenders in California are given more of a priority than the rights of victims and potential victims.

Sex offenders get out and manage to live their lives in society, and the police won't do anything until something bad happens. Being a registered sex offender does not seem to matter because the sex offenders are allowed to freely hang around children.

Like this comment
Posted by It should be illegal
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:49 am

They should also make it illegal for sex offenders to be able to volunteer in places where there are children.

Like this comment
Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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