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O.C. sex offender challenging county park ban sentenced to jail

O.C. sex offender challenging county park ban sentenced to jail
Convicted sex offender Hugo Godinez was sentenced to 197 days in jail for violating probation.
(Orange County District Attorney’s office)

A 30-year-old Santa Ana man who is challenging an aggressive Orange County law barring sex offenders from county parks and beaches has been sentenced to jail for violating probation in a separate case.

Hugo Godinez, of Santa Ana, was sentenced to 197 days in jail as a result of multiple probation violations, including attempting to shake a boy’s hand at a fast-food restaurant and a failing to participate in counseling, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

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Godinez is on probation for a sexual battery conviction from 2010 in which he was required to register as a sex offender.

In the case on appeal, Godinez is accused of entering Mile Square Regional Park in Fountain Valley with the knowledge that he was not allowed to be there.  His court-mandated GPS device tracked the May 2011 violation, prosecutors said.

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In November 2011,  Godinez was convicted of a misdemeanor count of entering a county park without the written consent of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The conviction stemmed from a controversial county law barring registered sex offenders from entering county parks, beaches or some roadways without written permission from the Sheriff’s Department. At least half of Orange County cities have enacted similar ordinances since the county version was passed in April 2011. Of those, about half are being challenged in court.

After an Orange County Superior Court appeals panel overturned Godinez’s misdemeanor conviction in November, the Sheriff’s Department stopped enforcing the county law.

The probation violation will not have an effect on the appeals case.

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In the probation violation, for which he was sentenced March 21, Godinez admitted to trying to shake a boy’s hand, failing to meet with his probation officer, failing to charge his GPS device and failing to take his prescribed medication, according to prosecutors.

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Twitter: @nicolesantacruz

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com


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