09/26/03 15:16:41 GOVERNOR DAVIS SIGNS SEX CRIMES LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE 09/26/2003
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOVERNOR DAVIS SIGNS SEX CRIMES LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE 09/26/2003 SACRAMENTO
Governor Gray Davis has signed a package of new bills, which strengthen the rights of sexual assault victims and provide law enforcement with additional tools to apprehend and prosecute sex offenders.
"Sexual predators are the worst of the worst," said Gov. Davis. "I want to send a message â" loud and clear â" to sexual predators: 'law enforcement is watching you, and I will make sure they have every tool available to catch and prosecute you.'"
Among the bills the Governor signed are some of the strongest laws in the nation dealing with protecting victims' rights as well as providing law enforcement with more ways to protect Californians from sexual predators.
AB 898 by Assemblymember Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) enacts the Sexual Assault Victims DNA Bill of Rights. This bill authorizes law enforcement agencies to inform victims of sexual assault of the status of any DNA analysis connected with their case. It also requires law enforcement agencies to inform sexual assault victims if they intend to destroy or not to analyze DNA evidence from their case within the statute of limitations.
"Governor Davis has been a leader in making California safer for women," stated Assemblymember Chu. "Last year he signed my bill to establish a Campus Sexual Assault Task Force to make our college campuses safer for women. This year he signed my bill to protect a rape victim's DNA kit. I am very proud to have worked with Governor Davis and his Administration on these important bills to protect women all over the state."
"Many victims of sexual assault must undergo intensive medical exams to recover important DNA evidence that could be used to prosecute offenders," added Gov. Davis. "We must make every effort to ensure that victims are made aware of any changes to evidence that was been collected in an effort to bring their offender to justice."
SB 356 by Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego) authorizes school district police departments to receive and access information in the state's Megan's Law database in the same manner as local police, sheriffs, CHP and the UC and CSU police departments. This bill also allows school district police to disclose relevant information about registered sex offenders to members of the school community as needed.
"San Diego parents alerted me to the problem faced by school district law enforcement personnel with their inability to access Megan's Law information about volunteers and others interacting with children on school grounds," Sen. Alpert said. "By giving these district personnel access to the Megan's Law database, children will be safer and parents will be better informed."
AB 608 by Assemblymember Lynn Daucher (R-Brea) adds the CHP to the list of law enforcement officials who, if they arrest a school employee for a controlled substance or sex offense, must immediately notify the superintendent of schools of the school district or private school authorities employing the individual.
AB 506 by Assemblymember Bill Maze (R-Visalia) allows a victim of a sexual assault to voluntarily provide a blood and urine sample as part of their forensic sexual assault medical examination in order to determine if the assailant used drugs or alcohol in connection with the assault.
SB 879 by Senator Bob Margett (R-Arcadia) requires a person convicted of conveying or distributing child pornography to register as a sex offender.
AB 236 by Assemblymember Rudy Bermudez (D-Norwalk) prohibits registered sex offenders from being licensed as a physician or surgeon under the Medical Practices Act.