Megan's Law History
In 1995, a convicted child molester was arrested for the murder and rape of 7 year-old Megan Kanka in a New Jersey suburb. The offender lived directly across the street from the Kanka residence, yet the Police Department was prohibited from disclosing the presence of this child molester because at the time the law did not allow the release of sex offender information to the public.
The law, dubbed "Megan's Law," was changed to permit the release of this information to the public. California's version of Megan's Law went into effect on September 25, 1996. This law was implemented to allow potential victims to protect themselves and allow parents to protect their children. The law provides police with the ability to notify neighborhoods and residents of the existence of serious offenders, and further provides for public access to sex offender information under controlled circumstances.
Megan's Law Web Application
You may access the Megan's Law website at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/. This site provides the names, addresses, description and offense information of registered sex offenders. The map shows the approximate locations of sexual offenders and can be searched by city, zip code, school, parks, etc. Members of the public may not use the information they obtain by any means in accordance with the law to commit any crime. Criminal misuse of the information subjects the person who misuses it to a sentence enhancement in addition to the punishment for the crime committed. Civil misuse of the information may subject that person to civil damages. The information being provided is not to be used in any way to intimidate, harass or take any unlawful action against any registered sex offender.
Frequently asked question about Megan's Law and Sex Offenders
You can learn more about the law as well as risk assessments and registration procedures on the Megan's Law website at https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/faq.aspx#2.
Suggestions on how to protect you and your family
You can learn helpful tips for protecting yourself and your family on the Megan's Law website at https://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/Education_ProtectYourself.aspx.
Torrance Police Detectives handle Megan's Law registrations and investigations. Any additional questions about Megan's law or sex registrants should be directed to the Torrance Police Sex Crimes Detail at (310) 618-5571.