加利福尼亚州参议院第 145 号法案将保护强奸儿童的恋童癖者不必登记为性犯罪者。
In January 2019, California state senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill (SB-145) that would modify the state penal code to allow certain individuals convicted of sex offenses involving minors to apply for discretionary relief from having to register as sex offenders.
Under current California law, all persons found guilty of having non-forcible oral or anal intercourse with a minor are automatically required to register after serving time. The revised statute would leave that requirement to a judge’s discretion “if, at the time of the offense, the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor, as measured from the minor’s date of birth to the person’s date of birth.”
The aim of the bill, according to a press release from Wiener’s office, is to redress the disparity between how heterosexual and LGBT offenders are treated under the existing law:
Currently, for consensual yet illegal sexual relations between a teenager age 15 and over and a partner within 10 years of age, “sexual intercourse” (i.e., vaginal intercourse) does not require the offender to go onto the sex offender registry; rather, the judge decides based on the facts of the case whether sex offender registration is warranted or unwarranted. By contrast, for other forms of intercourse — specifically, oral and anal intercourse — sex offender registration is mandated under all situations, with no judicial discretion.
This distinction in the law — which is irrational, at best — disproportionately targets LGBT young people for mandatory sex offender registration, since LGBT people usually cannot engage in vaginal intercourse. For example, if an 18 year old straight man has vaginal intercourse with his 17 year old girlfriend, he is guilty of a crime, but he is not automatically required to register as a sex offender; instead, the judge will decide based on the facts of the case whether registration is warranted. By contrast, if an 18 year old gay man has sex with his 17 year old boyfriend, the judge *must* place him on the sex offender registry, no matter what the circumstances.
A 21 February 2019 article on The Washington Pundit website put a decidedly different spin on the proposal. That article, entitled “CA Democrats Introduce LGBTQ Bill that would Protect Pedophiles who Rape Children,” claimed:
SB-145 would allow a sex offender who lures a minor with the intent to commit a felony (i.e. a sex act) the ability to escape registering as a sex offender as long as the offender is within 10 years of age of the minor.
SB-145 would add a section to the state’s penal code (Section 290.55) stipulating that as long as the offender is “not more than 10 years older than the minor,” they are not automatically mandated to register as a sex offender. There is no age limit or range specified, except for existing law which already excludes lewd acts with children under 14.
SB-145 appears to allow adults to victimize minors by luring them with the intent to have sex, and then shields the predator from being automatically registered as a sex offender, as in the case of a 25 year old luring a 15 year old for sex, or a 22 year old luring a 12 year old.
SB-145, as currently written, appears to allow certain sexual predators to live among the population without anyone being aware.
“The bill does not apply to anyone under 14 years old,” Ruiz-Cornejo said when we showed him the passage. “Nor does the bill shield anyone, it simply grants the judge discretion.” (The Washington Pundit deleted the example and noted the correction after we contacted them to point out its inaccuracy.)
Finally, the sentence “SB-145, as currently written, appears to allow certain sexual predators to live among the population without anyone being aware” simply repeats the erroneous claim that discretionary relief will be granted to sexual predators.
We sought comment on the discrepancies in the article from The Washington Pundit’s publisher, who defended the website’s overall characterization of the bill. “By eliminating the different treatments for vaginal vs oral and anal assaults, it doesn’t change the nature of the bill,” he said in an email. “It actually expands on it and applies more protection to the pedophile. (Our definition of pedophile is an adult who sexually preys on children).”
He also stood by the claim that the bill would “protect pedophiles who rape children,” citing California’s age-of-consent law as a reason to ignore the distinction between forcible rape and “consensual” sex acts such as those that fall under the heading of statutory rape:
When an adult takes advantage of the innocence of a child, they are raping them. That’s why we don’t believe in having consensual sex with a drunk, adult woman. She may have consented but she wasn’t in the right state of mind to give actual consent. When a guy knowingly has sex with a drunk woman, he knows she isn’t in her normal state of mind. We believe any pursuit to engage in sexual acts that isn’t respectful and misleading the woman’s or child’s state of mind is immoral and equal to rape. Now, your definition of rape may be different. According to our definition, and the definition of our audience, it fits the description of rape. The title is not misleading. The title may be interpreted differently depending on who is reading it.
On 4 March 2019, Wiener’s office issued an amended version of SB-145 to clarify its intent and allay public confusion about which types of offenses are and are not included in the bill. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Public Safety and a hearing was set for 2 April.