A crusading civil rights attorney and a registered sex offender have partnered in a legal battle that has prompted dozens of California cities to repeal or revise what the pair believe are unconstitutional ordinances restricting the activities of sex offenders, reports the San Bernadino County Sun. Santa Maria attorney Janice Bellucci and Frank Lindsay, 62, a water-treatment specialist and registered sex offender for 35 years, have filed 18 lawsuits in federal court challenging city laws. They have settled 15 lawsuits, while 38 other cities have avoided litigation by agreeing to repeal their ordinances. Six other cities have voluntarily suspended enforcement of their ordinances, while ordinances in another 18 cities are still under review.
“The way I look at it is that I'm protecting the Constitution of the United States as well as the state of California,” said Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, a nonprofit she launched three years ago. While Bellucci fights for the rights of oppressed sex offenders, others say she's endangering the state's youth. “As an elected official and as a mother, I'm concerned about the health and safety of our young people who don't have a voice,” said Councilwoman Lulu Davis-Holmes of Carson, which is fighting one of the lawsuits. “Our kids did not make the choice to be molested.”