The deaths of two teenage San Diego-area girls spurred calls by politicians and parents for tougher laws to deal with sex offenders. California already has a slew of sex offender measures, such as Jessica’s Law, barring offenders from living near schools or parks, and Megan’s Law, requiring an offender registry. Experts tell National Public Radio that the case of John Gardner, charged in one San Diego case and a target in the other, is exhibit A in Megan’s Law’s limitations.
Megan’s Law Web site lists Gardner’s address north of San Diego. But he also visited his mother’s home in San Diego near the area where Chelsea King was found dead. Gardner registered as a sex offender last year in the town where Amber Dubois disappeared. “The registered sex offenders – even though they have an address in one city, they’re free to move from city to city as anybody else is,” said Boyd Long, assistant San Diego police chief. Says ex-San Diego prosecutor Paul Pfingst: “Whatever precautions are taken to protect a community from sexual predators, they can never be foolproof, unless we do not have a free society.”