El Dorado County Supervisors voted to overturn a sex offender ordinance after a registered sex offender sued to have it repealed.
The 2012 law limited sex offender access to parks and schools, but it’s in process of being repealed after a unanimous vote on Tuesday.
“It’s not the county’s intention to say that if you’re out of custody, but you’re a registered sex offender that you can’t drive down Highway 50,” said El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson.
The ordinance was passed in an effort to prevent kidnappings like the Jaycee Duggard case.
“There are ordinances that are similar to this in other jurisdictions, and there’s been the same type of effort to challenge them,” Pierson said.
But attorney Janice Bellucci says it’s unconstitutional and filed suit against the county, saying it violates the civil rights of of sex offenders.
For instance, the ordinance prevents them from eating at a Carl’s Jr. in Cameron Park because they’re not allowed within 300 feet of the playground that’s attached.
“Or going to the public library,” she said. “By that, people on the registry were denied access to public information.”
The district attorney says there’s a difficult balance to be met.
“How do we protect kids from people like this versus how do we let them live a somewhat normal life, given the circumstances,” he said.
The board will still need to take a second vote on the issue, then it will take another 30 days before it takes effect.
The county hopes to come up with a new ordinance as soon as possible.