Jessica's Law Challenged

FRESNO, Calif.

He told us; "I'm down here because I'm a 290 sex offender. That means I'm a registered sex offender I'm on parole."

The 28 year old has been out of prison for a few months. He was convicted of a sex crime, involving an adult but because of a law designed to protect children from sex offenders, he can't live near a school or a park, that limits his housing options.

"My brother lives 1983 feet from a school and due to Jessica's law I can't live there because he'd have to be 2000 feet. So 17 feet prevent me from living with my brother, my mom, having a stable environment. "

While there's not much public sympathy for anyone convicted of any kind of a sex crime, state law enforcement task force is recommending changes in the law, especially the distance requirements. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer was involved in the task force report and supports the findings.

"We believe the 2000 foot requirement is too much." He said.

The Megan's Law website lists the addresses and locations of most of the more than 16 hundred sex offenders in Fresno. But 134 of them, like Will, are listed as transients ... with no address. Dyer feels that creates a more dangerous situation.

"Because it's far better for us in law enforcement if those individuals are living in an apartment a motel in some type of a structure that we can keep a better eye on them."

Dyer thinks GPS monitoring and more parole agents are among the steps that could be taken. Will Watson already wears a monitor and thinks that's enough.

Will Watson; "Well, we wear ankle monitors and so if we go to a school or to a park it will pop up immediately my parole agent will be notified because on the computer it's a red zone."

A California judge has already ruled that Jessica's law is unconstitutional but the ruling is expected to be appealed by the state.

The state legislature could be asked to act on the recommendations by the task force, but supporters of change acknowledge it may be difficult for legislators to tackle the popular law which was passed by voters in 2006.

         NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
        BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW ABC30 ON TWITTER
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.