Chapter 2.3. Repeat Sexual Offenders 999i-999p of California Penal Code >> Title 6. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2.3.

999i. The Legislature hereby finds that repeat sexual offenders present a clear and present danger to the mental and physical well-being of the citizens of the State of California, especially of its children. The Legislature further finds that the concept of vertical prosecution, in which one deputy district attorney is assigned to a case from its filing to its completion, is a proven way of demonstrably increasing the likelihood of convicting repeat sex offenders and ensuring appropriate sentences for such offenders. In enacting this chapter, the Legislature intends to support increased efforts by district attorneys' offices to prosecute repeat sexual offenders through organizational and operational techniques that have already proven their effectiveness in selected counties in this and other states, as demonstrated by the California Career Criminal Prosecution Program and the California Gang Violence Suppression Program, as well as sexual assault prosecution units in several counties.
999j. (a) There is hereby established in the Office of Emergency Services a program of financial and technical assistance for district attorneys' offices, designated the Repeat Sexual Offender Prosecution Program. All funds appropriated to the office for the purposes of this chapter shall be administered and disbursed by the Director of Emergency Services, and shall to the greatest extent feasible, be coordinated or consolidated with any federal or local funds that may be made available for these purposes. The Office of Emergency Services shall establish guidelines for the provision of grant awards to proposed and existing programs prior to the allocation of funds under this chapter. These guidelines shall contain the criteria for the selection of agencies to receive funding, as developed in consultation with an advisory group to be known as the Repeat Sexual Offender Prosecution Program Steering Committee. The membership of the steering committee shall be designated by the secretary of the office. A draft of the guidelines shall be developed and submitted to the Chairpersons of the Assembly Criminal Law and Public Safety Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter and issued within 90 days of the same effective date. These guidelines shall set forth the terms and conditions upon which the Office of Emergency Services is prepared to offer grants pursuant to statutory authority. The guidelines shall not constitute rules, regulations, orders, or standards of general application.
  (b) The Director of Emergency Services is authorized to allocate and award funds to counties in which repeat sexual offender prosecution units are established or are proposed to be established in substantial compliance with the policies and criteria set forth below in Sections 999k, 999l, and 999m.
  (c) The allocation and award of funds shall be made upon application executed by the county's district attorney and approved by its board of supervisors. Funds disbursed under this chapter shall not supplant local funds that would, in the absence of the California Repeat Sexual Offender Prosecution Program, be made available to support the prosecution of repeat sexual offender felony cases. Local grant awards made under this program shall not be subject to review as specified in Section 14780 of the Government Code.
999k. Repeat sexual offender prosecution units receiving funds under this chapter shall concentrate enhanced prosecution efforts and resources upon individuals identified under selection criteria set forth in Section 999l. Enhanced prosecution efforts and resources shall include, but not be limited to:
  (a) Vertical prosecutorial representation, whereby the prosecutor who makes the initial filing or appearance in a repeat sexual offender case will perform all subsequent court appearances on that particular case through its conclusion, including the sentencing phase.
  (b) The assignment of highly qualified investigators and prosecutors to repeat sexual offender cases. "Highly qualified" for the purposes of this chapter shall be defined as: (1) individuals with one year of experience in the investigation and prosecution of felonies or specifically the felonies listed in subdivision (a) of Section 999l; or (2) individuals whom the district attorney has selected to receive training as set forth in Section 13836; or (3) individuals who have attended a program providing equivalent training as approved by the Office of Emergency Services.
  (c) A significant reduction of caseloads for investigators and prosecutors assigned to repeat sexual offender cases.
  (d) Coordination with local rape victim counseling centers, child abuse services programs, and victim witness assistance programs. Coordination shall include, but not be limited to: referrals of individuals to receive client services; participation in local training programs; membership and participation in local task forces established to improve communication between criminal justice system agencies and community service agencies; and cooperating with individuals serving as liaison representatives of local rape victim counseling centers and victim witness assistance programs.
999l. (a) An individual shall be the subject of a repeat sexual offender prosecution effort who is under arrest for the commission or attempted commission of one or more of the following offenses: assault with intent to commit rape, sodomy, oral copulation or any violation of Section 264.1, Section 288, or Section 289; rape, in violation of Section 261; sexual battery, in violation of Section 243.4; sodomy, in violation of Section 286; lewd acts on a child under 14, in violation of Section 288; oral copulation, in violation of Section 288a; sexual penetration, in violation of Section 289; and (1) who is being prosecuted for offenses involving two or more separate victims, or (2) who is being prosecuted for the commission or attempted commission of three or more separate offenses not arising out of the same transaction involving one or more of the above-listed offenses, or (3) who has suffered at least one conviction during the preceding 10 years for any of the above-listed offenses. For purposes of this chapter, the 10-year periods specified in this section shall be exclusive of any time which the arrested person has served in state prison or in a state hospital pursuant to a commitment as a mentally disordered sex offender.
  (b) In applying the repeat sexual offender selection criteria set forth above: (1) a district attorney may elect to limit repeat sexual offender prosecution efforts to persons arrested for any one or more of the offenses listed in subdivision (a) if crime statistics demonstrate that the incidence of such one or more offenses presents a particularly serious problem in the county; (2) a district attorney shall not reject cases for filing exclusively on the basis that there is a family or personal relationship between the victim and the alleged offender.
  (c) In exercising the prosecutorial discretion granted by Section 999n, the district attorney shall consider the following: (1) the character, the background, and prior criminal background of the defendant, and (2) the number and seriousness of the offenses currently charged against the defendant.
999m. Each district attorney's office establishing a repeat sexual offender prosecution unit and receiving state support under this chapter shall adopt and pursue the following policies for repeat sexual offender cases:
  (a) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to resist the pretrial release of a charged defendant meeting repeat sexual offender selection criteria.
  (b) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to persuade the court to impose the most severe authorized sentence upon a person convicted after prosecution as a repeat sexual offender. In the prosecution of an intrafamily sexual abuse case, discretion may be exercised as to the type and nature of sentence recommended to the court.
  (c) All reasonable prosecutorial efforts will be made to reduce the time between arrest and disposition of charge against an individual meeting repeat sexual offender criteria.
999n. (a) The selection criteria set forth in Section 999l shall be adhered to for each repeat sexual offender case unless, in the reasonable exercise of prosecutor's discretion, extraordinary circumstances require departure from those policies in order to promote the general purposes and intent of this chapter.
  (b) Each district attorney's office establishing a repeat sexual offender prosecution unit and receiving state support under this chapter shall submit the following information, on a quarterly basis, to the Office of Emergency Services:
  (1) The number of sexual assault cases referred to the district attorney's office for possible filing.
  (2) The number of sexual assault cases filed for felony prosecution.
  (3) The number of sexual assault cases taken to trial.
  (4) The percentage of sexual assault cases tried which resulted in conviction.
999o. The characterization of a defendant as a "repeat sexual offender" as defined by this chapter shall not be communicated to the trier of fact.
999p. The Office of Emergency Services is encouraged to utilize any federal funds which may become available in order to implement the provisions of this chapter.