A sex offender registry bill was revived by a lawmaker from San Francisco just days before the California legislative session was scheduled to end. After passing through four committees and the state senate, it was held up in the California Assembly Appropriations Committee. It was brought back by a process called gut-and-amend. This involves scrapping a dead bill, putting its contents into an active bill and then using that bill to bypass committee.
On Aug. 21, California authorities began a three-day operation to ensure that Sacramento County sex offenders were complying with the sex offender registration requirements. During the course of the operation, 32 individuals were taken into custody for failing to register or who were in violation of the laws.
Prosecutors in California must meet specific criteria to prove allegations of sexual assault. The penal code defines an assault as separate from rape, which arises from intercourse without consent. An assault takes place when a person touches another person's intimate areas. Specifically, these can be one's sexual organ, anus, groin, buttocks or the breasts of a female. Direct contact with skin or contact through clothing both count as touching. The person touched must not consent to the action. In some cases, consent might not be clear, and a person charged with sexual assault might claim that consent was given.
On March 3, it was reported that a California woman was accused of sexually exploiting three high school students. The 42-year-old woman was taken into police custody on Feb. 28 and ultimately charged with unlawful sexual intercourse and knowingly dissuading a victim or witness.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that lengthen the prison sentences for those who are convicted of sexual assault. The two laws, which came about as a response to the results of Brock Turner's rape case, end the ability for those convicted of sexually assaulting unconscious individuals from seeking short prison sentences.
A California man was accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was sleeping in her home. He has now been convicted of a felony and sentenced to life in prison, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. The 30-year-old man was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape or other acts of sexual assault during a burglary.
Many Californians do not have a real understanding of the types of conduct that may be considered to be unlawful sexual intercourse. Unlawful sexual intercourse may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor and result in many harsh penalties, including sex offender registration that may continue long after a sentence is completed.
People in California could be charged with indecent exposure if they expose their genitals in public. To convict someone of indecent exposure, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant's actions were willful and meant to be lewd or obscene. Accidentally exposing one's genitals is not considered a sex crime because it is not intentional.
Many California residents have likely heard that Subway has announced the suspension of its relationship with longtime spokesman Jared Fogle after the company learned he was the target of an investigation centered on child pornography. In a statement, Subway said the decision was "mutually agreed" upon and that Fogle is cooperating with authorities.
Legislators in California and around the country often face challenges as they balance the rights of incarcerated people with the need to protect the public. A Minnesota judge is facing such an issue as sex offenders in the state who are detained in a treatment program deal with potential violations of their rights. The judge in the case has noted that the program in question has never completely discharged any participants. Given the 20-year existence of the program and the high costs, the judge has demanded that state lawmakers find a solution that will protect the rights of those who have been held in connection with this program.