Some sex offenders told to move

More than six dozen sex offenders on parole in Fresno County are among an estimated 2,100 statewide who will have to move because they live too close to schools or parks, according to state corrections officials.

The parolees were notified Monday that they have 45 days to move, said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento.

They must do so to comply with Proposition 83, also known as Jessica's Law, a bill passed by voters on Nov. 7. The law requires convicted sex offenders released from prison to live more than 2,000 feet from schools or parks.

About 4,000 sex offenders have been paroled throughout the state since the November election, Sessa said.

A federal judge in February ruled that Proposition 83 does not apply to an estimated 90,000 sex offenders who lived in the state before the law was passed.

In Fresno County, the department has identified 74 sex offenders who will have to move. There are 21 in Tulare County; 15 in Merced County, and three in Madera County. No violators were found in two other nearby counties, Kings and Mariposa.

Sessa said only those offenders paroled between the Nov. 7 election and last week are being given the 45-day grace period to move if they are in violation of the residency restrictions.

He said that while the law mandates that parolees keep in touch with their parole agents and comply with all conditions placed on their parole papers, it will be the responsibility of each offender to find a legal place to live.

Those who do not comply will face a hearing before a parole board to determine what will happen to them, including the possibility of being sent back to prison.

Rules were put in place last week for revoking their paroles, Sessa said. The department had known earlier about the number of offenders in violation of the residency restrictions and has been waiting for administrative issues to be resolved, he said.

Proposition 83, which 70% of voters approved, was named for Jessica Lunsford, a 9-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2005 by a convicted sex offender.