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State lawmaker proposes stricter penalties on sex offenders

April 12, 2010 |  2:18 pm

People convicted of sex crimes against minors would face longer prison sentences and more time on parole with electronic monitoring under a proposal made Monday in response to the murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King of Poway.

The man charged with killing King was on parole after serving five years in prison for molesting a 13-year-old girl.

“We are standing here today because our precious daughter Chelsea has inspired us, and thousands of others, to galvanize together to create a law that denies a convicted sexual predator a second chance to harm or take the life of another child,” said Kelly King, Chelsea’s mother. “Chelsea is our beacon.”

Kelly and Brent King joined Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) in announcing a bid to change existing laws governing sex offenses. Fletcher wants to establish a new penalty of a life sentence without the possibility of parole for forcible sex crimes against those younger than 18 when there are aggravating circumstances such as torture and "kidnapping that substantially increases risk of harm to the victim."

He also wants to increase the penalty from a minimum 15 years to at least 25 years for a forcible sex crime life that includes any one of several "minor" aggravating circumstances, including use of a weapon, simple kidnapping or drugging of the victim.

Fletcher also proposes that registered sex offenders be barred from visiting parks where children regularly gather without the offender first getting approval from a parole agent.

And the parole for a person convicted of a forcible sex crime against a minor would be increased from five to 10 years. Those convicted of such a crime against a child younger than 14 would face lifetime parole that included electronic monitoring of their location by parole officials, Fletcher said.

“Violent sexual predators that prey upon children cannot be rehabilitated, and with Chelsea’s Law, we will have a criminal justice system that reflects this reality,’’ the lawmaker said.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento