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THE CLAIM:

California just passed Senate Bill 145, a bill that would end felonies for child rape and legalize pedophilia in the state.

THE FACTS:

SB 145, which has passed the California Legislature and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, would not legalize pedophilia. The bill is intended to reform the state’s sex offender registry to be fairer to young LGBT adults. 

It would give judges equal discretion to determine whether an adult, convicted of having non-coercive sex with someone under 18, must register as a sex offender — regardless of what kind of sex is involved.


Background

Under current law, judges have sentencing discretion only in cases of voluntary, but illegal, penile-vaginal sex with a minor age 14 to 17 and an adult within 10 years of the minor’s age. SB 145 would expand that judicial discretion to include cases of voluntary oral or anal sex between an adult and a minor, within the same age parameters.

The bill would not apply to cases involving any minor under the age of 14, nor would it apply to cases where the age gap is greater than 10 years. It also would not apply if either party claims the sex was involuntary.

‘Parity’ in Law’s Effect on LGBT Community

Advocates say the bill would apply California law more equitably to the LGBTQ community.

If signed into law, the bill would “bring much-needed parity” to California sex offender registration law, according to a statement from Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who drafted the bill.

“This bill allows judges and prosecutors to evaluate cases involving consensual sex acts between young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, on an individual basis,” the statement said.

SB 145 has been widely condemned by social media users falsely claiming it would legalize pedophilia. “PEDOPHILIA is now LEGAL in CALIFORNIA,” read a Facebook post viewed more than 8 million times. “Now a 21 year old can have sex with an 11 year old, and not be listed on the sex registry as a sex offender. This is unbelievable California!”

Social Media Posts Misrepresent the Bill

Posts making such claims fundamentally misrepresent what SB 145 does, according to the bill’s authors and outside experts. Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School, called the claims “hogwash” in an interview with The Associated Press.

“The accusation that it somehow allows pedophilia is simply not true,” Levinson said.

The bill faced opposition in the Legislature by some lawmakers, including Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. She said that the 10-year age gap was too broad. The same 10-year provision applies to existing law, however, in cases of penile-vaginal sex between a minor over 14 and an adult where intercourse was voluntary.

5 Responses

  1. GD

    Do you think a young 14 year old boy can be easily influenced by a 24 year old man? Absolutely can and now you’re giving the old guy a new reason to go after children – he won’t have to be on the Sex Registry if he can prove the young child was complicit…..DISGUSTING! The Socialist Left is trying to make this seem “normal” to the rest of us so the punishment will eventually go away for RAPE.

    Reply
    • user79

      You are wrong to think this legalized pedophilia. Read the darn article and if you can’t understand it, find a reputable educated source to clarify. Take your BS elsewhere.

      Reply
      • Jonathon Neville

        GD didn’t say this legalized pedophilia. I came here to gather facts against the misrepresentation of this bill, but I didn’t know the allowed age difference was 10 years. I have to agree with the first half of GD’s comment. A 24 year old man could now think he might get away without being on the sex registry if he goes after a 14-year-old boy. I realize the 10 year span was already the law before this amendment, but if legislators are amending it for gender equality, why not also amend it to make it more like a 3 or 4 year age gap? I can imagine teens 2 years apart being sexually interested in each other without it being one taking advantage of the other. Maybe 3. A 10 year gap between a 20-year-old and a 30-year-old is somewhat understandable, but we’re talking about minors, and there’s no justification for a 24-year-old getting sexual with a 14-year-old. That said, I do realize this only gives judges discretion. I expect at this extreme range, 14-24, no judge would ever be lenient. … So why does the law allow 10 years? The senator shot himself in the foot by not also changing the span of years.

  2. Dan

    So maybe equalizing the treatment of oral/anal with vaginal isn’t a bad idea. But maybe that unequal treatment wasn’t the only bad thing about the old law. Maybe that part about allowing judicial discretion within a 10-year age gap was equally bad. A 24-year-old who has sex with a 14-year-old is a predator. Maybe changing it to a 3 year age gap should have been part of the new law. So that a 20-year-old with a 17-year-old falls within judicial discretion, or even a 19-year-old with a 16-year-old. A 10 year age gap is simply too much (when one of the parties is a minor – I’m not talking about a two legal adults ages 28 and 18.)

    And another thing: Scott Wiener shouldn’t be taking ALL of the criticism on this. The law wouldn’t have passed without the support of a whole lot of other legislators. Nor without the support of the governor. There are plenty of people to share the criticism.

    Reply

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