AB 1844 (Chelsea’s Law CA) is a disciplined and comprehensive legislative proposal that makes significant changes to the way California deals with sex offenders. It increases penalties, parole provisions, and oversight for the worst of the worst sex offenders in society, the violent sexual predator that attacks children. It also implements a series of legal provisions and programs commonly referred to as the “Containment Model”, which will help reduce recidivism, preserve state resources, and better protect out communities.
Chelsea King, 17, a Poway High School Student from San Diego County went missing on Thursday Feb. 25, 2010 while jogging in a Rancho Bernardo Park. She was found five days later in Lake Hodges led there by a man that was later convicted of murdering her.
She was found to be second victim of John Gardner, 31, who had raped and murdered Amber Dubois, 14, from Escondido in San Diego County the year before. Gardner also led them to her remains.
|John Gardner during trial on left and what he looks like now on the right|
Before that Gardner was convicted of violently molesting a 13-year-old in 2000 and served 5 years in prison and then was released to the care of his mother, Cathy Osborn who was a psychiatric nurse for a hospital. The mother was under scrutiny for not advising Gardner’s parole officer that he was no longer living at the address he provided of his grandmother’s house, but was living back at Cathy’s home.
The following was an email to 10News:
“Cannot tell you who I am for fear of being harassed, but his mother Cathy Osborn is going back to work at Scripps Mercy Hospital in behavioral health. She let her son live with her and had a key to her house and now is in a position of authority on a psychiatric unit where other sex offenders or psychiatric patients are placed based on her position … She knew he was a danger and never reported him. Her judgment could let other people out of a psychiatric facility that should not be. Staff do not respect her anymore and have to listen to her because she is in a position of authority. This is not right … Staff do not want to work with her and she is coming back to work.”
Moe Dubois sponsored a bill called Chelsea’s Law which was passed by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Feb. 2011 includes the following specifications:
1. A new one-strike life without parole penalty for those sexual predators who commit the most heinous violent sex crimes against a child, as well as increases in other penalties for sex crimes committed against minors by use of force, violence, duress, menace, and fear.
2. Various increases in parole periods with active GPS monitoring for those convicted of felony sex crimes involving physical contact with children, as well as a new prohibition against loitering in parks where children congregate for parolees convicted of most sex offenses against children.
3. Implementation of the “containment model” approach to sex offender management proposed by California’s Sex Offender Management Board, including increased oversight, psychological evaluations, and polygraph testing for all sex offenders on parole or probation.
4. Implementation of a Dynamic Risk assessment model to improve evaluation of sex offender’s potential for new sexual violence.
5. Authorization for various upgrades to the Megan’s Law website so as to include more useful and informative data to law enforcement and the public on the actual risk of sex offenders in our communities.
6. Funding for victim’s services and outreach, as well as resource-development for SAFE (Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement) teams in rural, regional areas.
7. Changes in the state MDO (Mentally Disordered Offender) evaluation process to ensure that offenders deemed by at least two psychologists to be too dangerous to be released are properly detained.
Violent sexual predators that go after children are a uniquely dangerous problem, a problem that requires a comprehensive solution. Chelsea’s Law ensures that the state does everything it can to keep those convicted of sex crimes of this nature from engaging in even more atrocious crimes upon release, and that those who commit the worst violent sexual crimes against children are put away for life.