Logo horizontal ruler

46 Local Sex Offenders Listed on New Site

By Jorge Casuso

December 23 -- There are 46 convicted sex offenders living in Santa Monica, according to the state's new Megan's Law Web site, which has logged some 15 million hits since it was launched last week.

The site lists the home addresses of 31 serious offenders in Santa Monica and identifies 19 offenders who are in violation of their registration requirements under Megan's law. (Megan's Law Website)

The site -- which provides pictures, home addresses and crimes committed by the offenders -- can be a valuable tool to protect families against sexual predators, according to police.

"Communities will become more educated and aware of potential hazards," said Lt. Frank Fabrega, the police department spokesman. "I can see this as a tool for parents selecting schools, neighborhoods they may want to live in or locations their children may want to frequent."

But Fabrega cautioned that the information posted on the Web site -- which lists 63,000 of the state's estimated 110,000 sex offenders who register with local law enforcement agencies -- "may not be one hundred percent accurate."

"Registrants move and may fail to register," Fabrega said, adding that some also die or are deported.

Fabrega also cautions that the addresses listed on the site -- which compiles information provided by law enforcement agencies -- does not necessarily mean the offender is living there.

Some offenders list the address of a relative, others may be transients who list their last place of residence, Fabrega said.

Transients must register every 60 days, compared to one year for housed sex offenders, Fabrega said.

The 46 registered offenders represents a drop from the 51 registered in October 2002, when The Lookout posted the list made available at the West Hollywood Sheriffs station.

Twenty-eight of the offenders currently registered in Santa Monica were on the 2002 list.

The number of registered sex offenders per capita in Santa Monica, which has a population of 84,000, was lower than that of comparable cities, according to an analysis of the numbers posted on the Web site.

Pasadena and Torrance -- which each have some 138,000 residents -- had 113 and 107 registered sex offenders respectively.

Culver City, which has a population of 44,000, had 37 sex offenders.

Santa Monica is one of the few law enforcement agencies that arrests sex offenders for failing to register, Fabrega said.

The state's Web site was an instant hit when it was launched last Wednesday, with the excessive traffic bogging it down.

Between Wednesday and Sunday, the site logged 14 million hits, according to Department of Justice officials.

The state has required dangerous sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies for more than 50 years, according to the State Attorney General's office.

But specific information regarding the whereabouts of these offenders was not made available to the public until July 1995 with the implementation of the Child Molester Identification Line.

The following year, the federal government took a further step with Megan's law, named for a New Jersey girl raped and killed by a twice-convicted sex offender who moved across the street from her family home.

Under California's Megan's law enacted by federal directive, the state's 15 cities with populations of more than 200,000 were required to make the list of the state's registered sex offenders available on computer stations for public use.

Like most cities in the state -- including such Westside municipalities as Beverly Hills and Culver City -- Santa Monica chose not to equip its station with a computer to access the names on the Megan's law CD-ROM.

As a result, before the state launched its Web site, Santa Monica residents had to travel to law enforcement agencies in other cities to access the information, which could not be printed out.

The new web site was authorized in September by the passage of AB 488, sponsored by Attorney General Bill Lockyer and State Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Bakersfield.

The site allows visitors to search by city, county, ZIP code or individual name. It also provides information on the number of sex offenders near parks and schools.
Lookout Logo footer image
Copyright 1999-2008 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.
Footer Email icon