The History of Megan's Law
|In 1995, a convicted child molester was arrested for the rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka
in a New Jersey suburb. The offender lived right across the street from the Kanka home, but the Police
Department was prohibited from disclosing the presence of this child molester because the law did not
allow the release of sex offender information to the public.
|The law, dubbed "Megan's Law," was changed to permit the release of this information to the public.
California's version of Megan's Law went into effect on September 25, 1996. This law was implemented to
allow viewing of sex offender information in order to allow potential victims to protect themselves and
parents to protect their children.
As of December of 2004, the public can now access Megan's Law information via the
Internet from www.meganslaw.ca.gov/.
The Megan's Law CD-ROM provides a means to obtain information on the more than 64,000 serious sex offenders living in California.
It provides information such as: the registrant's name, aliases, photograph (if available), sex, physical description (including
scars, marks and tattoos), the offenses for which the registrant is registering, the county of residence and the ZIP code of residence
(based on last registration). It does not include addresses or telephone numbers.
To view the CD-ROM, you must:
- be 18 years of age or older; or accompanied by parent or legal guardian;
- provide a California driver's license or identification card
- sign a statement that you are not a registered sex offender; that you understand the purpose of the release of information is in
order for the public to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders; and that it is illegal to use the information to
harass, discriminate or commit a crime against any registrant.
The Megan's Law CD is available for viewing at the following locations/times:
Investigative Services Division
600 10th Street, 2nd Floor
Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, 8 am until 4 pm
Convicted sex offender information is updated on a daily basis. Megan's Law info is accessible to the public in the following languages:
Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.