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Megan’s Law In The Mother Lode

A new state law has allowed the California Department of Justice to post the Megan´s Law registered sex offender list on the internet. The information was previously available only by viewing a CD-ROM at local law enforcement agencies, like the Sheriff´s Office. There are approximately 63,000 registered sex offenders in the state. Information on the Megan´s Law website includes photographs, names, addresses and the offenses committed by registrants. While there are some women on the list, the vast majority of registered sex offenders are men. There are 65 registered sex offenders in Tuolumne County and 16 in Calaveras County. 54 of Tuolumne County´s offenders live in Sonora and 11 reside in Jamestown. In Calaveras County there are 16 registered sex offenders, 7 in San Andreas, 4 in Murphy´s, 4 in Angels Camp and 1 in Arnold. Their offenses vary, but almost all of them have been convicted of committing crimes against children. There have not been any known incidents of citizens exacting retribution on registrants since the website was posted on the internet at the start of the New Year. Tuolumne County Sheriff Dick Rogers says he doesn´t anticipate any problems and adds that his Department will not tolerate vigilantism . California Attorney General Bill Lockyer says most offenses against children are committed by a family member, “friend” or acquaintance of the victim. Megan´s Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas fought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have some form of Megan´s Law.