On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new bill into law that has sparked much outrage amongst elected officials, The Christian Post reports.
SB-145, or Senate Bill 145, expands the judge’s discretion in determining whether or not an adult should be registered as a sex offender for having sex with minors between the ages of 14 to 17, given that the individual is no more than 10 years older than the minor.
The present law, which has been in place since 1944, permitted judges the discretion to choose whether or not an adult should be placed on the state’s sex offender registry list if they have vaginal sex with a minor no younger than 14 years of age.
But the discretion did not apply to cases of anal or oral intercourse, thus adults would automatically be placed on the registry.
But the new bill exempts adults from mandatory registration if they have anal or oral sex with a minor, as long as the adult was 10 years older than the minor’s age. Despite the change in legislation, individuals would still be guilty of committing a crime.
Despite multiple allegations, the new bill does not mean that pedophilia is legalized in the state of California, AP News reports.
California Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Franscisco, had pushed for the bill and praised the signing as it “eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system.”
Other state officials, however, were appalled at the new legislation, including calls for it to be changed.
“I cannot, in my mind, as a mother, understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense,” Democrat Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said while the bill was debated in congress.
"We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator," she added.
“As a parent, I’m appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer wrote on Saturday.
“An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered as a sex offender. Law must be changed.”
As a parent I’m appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory.— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) September 12, 2020
An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender. Law must be changed.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Matthew Starling
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.