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 residence, however the Police Department was prohibited from disclosing the presence of this child molester because at the time 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 potential victims to protect themselves and allow parents to protect their children.
A new California law, Assembly Bill 488 (Nicole Parra), sponsored by the Attorney General now provides the public with Internet access to detailed information on registered sex offenders. This expanded access allows the public for the first time to use their personal computers to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement under California's Megan's Law. Previously, the information was available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a 900 toll-number. The new law was given final passage by the Legislature on August 24, 2004 and signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004.
The website is provided through the Office of the Attorney General and can be reached by by clicking this link: http://meganslaw.ca.gov.