NOVEMBER 04, 2010
A judge who used a skewed movie to determine that a fugitive child rapist was a victim of judicial misconduct has ruled that it’s unconstitutional to keep pedophiles and sex offenders away from schools and parks.
Ruling in favor of four paroled sex offenders, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza said that a
“The evidence presented suggests that despite lay belief, a sex offender parolee’s residential proximity to a school or park where children regularly gather does not bear on the parolee’s likelihood to commit a sexual offense against a child,” the judge, who supervises the county’s criminal courts, wrote in his order. He also wrote that an increase in homeless sex offenders—supposedly an outcome of the law—would risk public safety.
This is the same judge who considered a biased cable documentary as evidence in the case of a Hollywood director (Roman Polanski) convicted of drugging and raping a teenage girl in the late 1970s. To avoid jail, Polanski fled to France and came close to being extradited last year. Espinoza presided over the case last year and said that the film (“Roman Polanski:Watned and Desired”) uncovered new information of judicial misconduct on the part of the deceased judge who originally handled the case.
In another controversial ruling, last year Espinoza ordered the release of a man convicted in the 1992 execution-style slaying of a high school classmate. Due to the crime’s gruesome nature—the victim was stabbed, beaten and strangled with a metal wire before getting thrown over a cliff—the governor overturned the murderer’s parole on the grounds that it would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society. Espinoza stepped in and ordered the release, nixing the governor’s two arguments for denying it; admission of guilt and the gravity of the offense.
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