Chelsea's Law mandates life prison terms for those convicted of certain violent sex crimes against children, increases law enforcement oversight of paroled sex offenders and prohibits released sex offenders from visiting places where children congregate. The 2010 law was named for 17-year-old Chelsea King, a Poway High School senior who was raped and killed by convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III during a jog six years ago.
Gardner, who was convicted in 2000 of sexually molesting a 13-old neighbor, also killed 14-year-old Amber Dubois of Escondido in 2009.
"The outcome of successful prosecutions using Chelsea's Law is the reduction in vulnerability of our communities' children to sexual predators by removing such criminals from society for either longer periods of time or permanently,'' according to the 2015 Chelsea's Law impact report.
Chelsea's Law was championed by the King family in collaboration with then-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who authored the law.
"California’s Chelsea’s Law, which has been in effect since 2010, increased penalties for violent sex offenders against minors…it increased the length of parole terms," Fletcher said.
Each year, the Chelsea's Light Foundation prepares an annual report detailing the number and nature of sex crimes against children being prosecuted in various counties under provisions of Chelsea's Law.
“For those that have to get out, that’s where the dynamic risk assessment the monitoring so probation can live on top of them, can really monitor them, can guard them, so that we can trigger any erratic behavior and immediately get them back in prison," Fletcher said.
Among those prosecuted locally was John Raymond Kinloch, a former Chula Vista first-grade teacher who molested a former student and seduced three other boys he met on the Internet. He was convicted in July on 33 counts, including child molestation and possession of child pornography and was subsequently sentenced to 125 years to life in prison.
Others prosecuted under Chelsea's Law were not named in the report, but its authors listed the charges against them. They include sex offenses involving bodily harm to a child under 14 years of age, rape of a minor under age 14 and lewd or lascivious acts involving children, according to the Chelsea's Law impact report.
“You’re not going to stop the problem, but if you can find someone that starts at that young age with children and gets some type of treatment or even the 25 to life...if you have someone who you know is an awful, awful person, who is going to recidivist and it’s going to happen again, that’s where this tool comes in handy," said Mike Fender of San Diego Police Officers Association.