On the evening of July 29, 1994, seven-year-old Megan Kanka was tricked into a neighbor’s home in Hamilton Township, New Jersey. The neighbor was a twice-convicted child molester who had told Megan he wanted to show her a puppy. The neighbor ended up sexually molesting and murdering her.
In response to the sexual assault and murder of Megan Kanka by a convicted sex offender, the federal government passed legislation making it mandatory for all sex offenders to register with local law enforcement, and for the information to be available to the public. All states now have a form of Megan's Law.
For more than 50 years, California has required sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies. However, information on the whereabouts of these sex offenders was not available to the public until the implementation of the Child Molester Identification Line in July 1995. The information available was further expanded by California's Megan's Law in 1996 (Chapter 908, Stats. of 1996).
A new California law, Assembly Bill 488 (Nicole Parra), sponsored by the Attorney General now provides the public with Internet access to detailed information on registered sex offenders.
This expanded access allows the public for the first time to use their personal computers to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement under California's Megan's Law. Previously, the information was available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices by calling a 900 toll-number. The new law was given final passage by the Legislature on August 24, 2004 and signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004.
California's Megan's Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children.