SAN DIEGO—Her death affected San Diego County and the country. But now the family of Chelsea King is one step closer to establishing a new law that will protect kids against sex offenders.
Chelsea's Law, or Assembly Bill 1844, was proposed for the first time in Sacramento on Monday. The King family talked in front of lawmakers hoping legislators pass the law, which will track sex offenders, and strengthen penalties.
"This pain could've been prevented. I am now too aware, way too aware, of the failings of our laws that don't protect us," said Brent King, father of murdered teen Chelsea King.
The King family, along with local representative Nathan Fletcher left Lindbergh Field this morning. The family hopes Chelsea's Law will protect other families throughout California.
"I will do all that I can to protect other daughters and sons, and other mothers and fathers from going through this incomperable nightmare that I'm going through," said Kelly King, mother of Chelsea King.
The bill introduced by state assemblyman Nathan Fletcher calls for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for any forcible sex crime against minors that include one or more aggravating factors, including the age of the victim, whether a kidnapping substantially increased the risk of harm, the perpetrator has a previous forcible sex crime conviction, and whether he tied, bound or drugged the child.
"Our bill is narrowly focused on a small group of the most violent and dangerous. And we believe that due to this focus, the cost will be relatively small, compared to the benefits we will receive as a society," he said.
The bill would also prohibit a convicted sex offender from entering a public park where children regularly go without prior approval of a parole agent, double the period of parole to 10 years for all forcible sex crimes, and establish lifetime parole and GPS monitoring for offenders who commit such crimes against children under 14 years old.
Supporters of Chelsea's Law are joining Brent and Kelly for their cause. Organizer Tommy Sablan said that more than 200 supporters of Chelsea's Law are expected to take buses from North County Fair to Sacramento. They will be leaving at 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, and arriving in Sacramento in the early morning. At 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, they will join the King family, Fletcher, and other supporters and carry sunflowers to the state capitol.
"I'll always remember when Brent King, Chelsea's Dad at the service said all that anger that we all have, turn it into hope," said Sablan.
He said the owner of Sun Diego Charter Bus company has donated buses and drivers for the trip. The group is expected to return Tuesday night.
As for Chelsea's Law, the proposed bill will go through the Assembly Public Safety Committee on April 20th. It could take months before the bill becomes law.
Accused killer John Gardner III will have a preliminary hearing on August 4.