Generally speaking, sex offenders, once released from prison, a mental facility, or rehabilitation, are free to live in any residential neighborhood within the state. Some exceptions include prohibitions against residing within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather while the offender is on parole or probation. Still, by and large, even offenders who have committed sexually violent crimes against children can move next door to a family.
And let’s be clear: 2,000 feet is 0.37 miles. This is hardly a buffer zone considering the recidivism rate for violent sexual offenders is up to 46 percent when all crimes are considered. And while only around five percent of those reoffending are charged with sexual offenses, California has the second highest number of registered sex offenders in the nation. Five percent is far from insignificant.
Registered sex offenders must update their information with the state’s registry at least once a year. Sexually violent offenders may need to update their information every 90 days. Registrants must also update information any time they move.
Families have access to the database of sexual offenders and are encouraged to check it regularly. In addition, neighbors should be notified by the authorities if a registrant is moving into their neighborhood.
What Happens When a Registered Sex Offender Harms My Child?
There are criminal consequences for recidivism. These can include prison, fines, and victim’s compensation funds. However, criminal proceedings do not always take into complete account the actual harm done to victims of childhood sexual abuse. For this reason, it is always a good idea to talk to a child sex abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Civil action can be taken against people who sexually abuse children. These claims can be made irrespective of criminal proceedings and do not attempt to determine guilt or innocence. Instead, a civil suit will seek damages for the physical and emotional suffering the victim has and will continue to face as they recover from the crimes committed against them.
The Cifarelli Law Firm has a proud history of helping victims of sexual abuse get justice through civil proceedings. If your child was the victim of a sexual predator, we are here to help you understand your options and rights, and to help your family heal.
Please call our Irvine office at 949-502-8600 to schedule a free consultation. Our child sex abuse lawyers serve victims and their families living in Los Angeles and all nearby areas of California.