Thousands of child molesters are being let out of prison after just a few months, an analysis of the state's database of sex offenders shows.
Sex crime prosecutors says that the data is "terrifying" and shameful."
The Daily Mail reports that more than 7,000 sex offenders were convicted of "lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age," yet they oly received a year or less of prison, data from the California Megan's Law database says.
The outlet reports "Others who committed some of the worst child sex crimes on the statute books served similarly short sentences, including 365 pedophiles convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child who spent less than 12 months in prison, 39 cases of sodomy with a child under 16, and three cases of kidnapping a child under 14 'with intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts', according to the data."
LA sex crimes prosecutor Samuel Dordulian told the Mail that the data is shocking and said that those who have been released are "frightening for society."
"Statistics clearly show that pedophiles don't get reformed. They're going to come out and they're going to commit again," Dordulian said. "Letting these people out early, we're allowing for a lot more victimization. And that's terrifying."
DailyMail only had data from California, and thus was not able to determine if a similar trend was happening in other American states.
Several examples exist of sex offenders who were let off easy. One offender, Reseda resident Carlos Alexander Nahue, 48, was convicted of "continuous sexual abuse of a child" in 2015. He was charged in October 2014, pled no contest to the crime in January 2015, and was sentenced to just two days in an LA county jail and 5 years probation.
The Daily Mail reports that he now lives one block from daycare and three blocks from Reseda Elementary School.
Another man, Noah Thomas Holt, of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, was convicted in 2013. He was charged with performing lewd acts with an under-14-year-old, child pornography possession, and indecent exposure. He was convicted in December 2013, and released within a year. He was also convicted of a DUI in 2017.
Another man, Gualterio Lopez Contreras, 47, was charged in 2014 with sodomy by use of force, and sexual penetration by force. He was released from prison in 2016.
Several other cases are detailed by the Mail, though they note that they were unable to conduct an analysis of offenders added after 2019 due to the California Department of Justice having added digital blocks on its website to prevent new data from being analyzed.
The California DOJ also refused to give data to the Mail for its investigation.
"And after we contacted the CA DoJ asking about the shocking statistics, the search function was removed from the Megan's Law website, which is administered by the department," they report.
The website showed that the state has 61,770 sex offenders across 58 counties, an increase of 12 percent since 2019.
An Attorney General spokesperson said in a statement that the laws were the responsibility of local DAs, courts, and state lawmakers.
"Public safety is a top priority for the California Department of Justice," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
"It's generally up to courts — in conjunction with locally elected DAs — to ensure the applicable statutes and sentencing guidelines are applied to cases based on the specific facts and circumstances. It's largely up to legislators to enact those statutes.
"Our office actively works with law enforcement across the state to protect our state's children and families, whether that's through conducting sting operations targeting sexual predators, issuing guidance to reduce harm to sexually exploited youth, or launching Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams.
"Our state's 58 district attorneys are on the front lines of enforcing criminal statutes to protect public safety on behalf of California's nearly 40 million residents. Our office always stands ready to provide assistance, guidance, or oversight as necessary."
California, in recent years, has made its laws against sex offenders much more lax, thanks largely in part to state Senator Scott Weiner.
2020, Wiener authored a bill that would "end discrimination against LGBTQ young people" by providing exemptions from the sex offender registry.
The bill, SB 145, made exemptions for people who were convicted of "certain offenses" as long as the person convicted is no more than 10 years older than the minor, with the minor being no younger than 14.
"This bill would exempt from mandatory registration under the act a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register," the bill text reads.
"It’s appalling that in 2020, California continues to discriminate against LGBTQ people, by mandating that LGBTQ young people be placed on the sex offender registry in situations where straight people aren’t required to be placed on the registry," Wiener said shortly before the bill was signed, according to the LA Times.
"SB 145 simply ends that discrimination by treating LGBTQ young people the exact same way that straight young people have been treated since 1944."
Wiener, alongside fellow state senator Todd Gloria, also authored a bill that passed back in 2017 that removes federal penalties and prison time for people that knowingly expose a sexual partner to HIV.
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