Here in L.A., a man has been proudly telling the public about his attraction to young girls:
Jack McClellan publicizes his attraction to young girls, does the rounds of television news and talk shows, and cooperates with the police.
When Santa Monica police confronted him last week at a Jack in the Box — after he had been spotted in the children’s section of the city’s main library by a nervous mother who called police — he agreed to let officers photograph him.
. . . .
As he did in the Seattle area where he lived previously, McClellan set up a website — now dismantled — to rate the summer festivals, parks and other places he has sought out as venues for catching a glimpse of young girls.
“Basically it advises pedophiles where to go to find children whom he identifies as LGs — little girls — and he rates the locations 1 to 5 with five being the best,” said [Sheriff’s Capt. Joe] Gutierrez, who confirmed he had seen the website and that the “information on it did not amount to the level of a crime.”
But there is apparently no evidence that he has acted on his feelings:
According to authorities, the 45-year-old McClellan, who appears to live mostly out of his car and favor the Westside, has no arrest or conviction record in the United States. He is not a registered sex offender.
Nevertheless, concerned parents recently obtained a restraining order against him, of extraordinary sweep:
In a surprising move, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday granted a sweeping temporary restraining order barring self-proclaimed pedophile Jack McClellan from coming within 10 yards of any child in California.
And he was just arrested pursuant to that restraining order:
Self-proclaimed pedophile Jack McClellan was arrested at UCLA twice Monday, first in the afternoon outside a child development building on suspicion of violating a statewide restraining order prohibiting him from coming within 10 yards of any child in California.
He was detained again about 10:20 p.m. after UCLA police saw McClellan, 45, being interviewed on a TV newscast while standing in a campus parking lot. A university spokesperson said McClellan was booked for trespassing.
Was he accidentally around children because he couldn’t help it? No . . .
In the earlier incident, McClellan was observed in the area of the university’s Infant Development Program.
Clearly, this guy is not someone I’d want around my kids. I understand the desire to keep him away from kids, given his public statements and extremely creepy actions.
But this restraining order is now going to be tested, and I can’t see how it will survive scrutiny. I tend to agree with Eugene Volokh, quoted in the second article linked above:
[T]he breadth of the order raised some questions for 1st Amendment expert Eugene Volokh, who called it “more or less house arrest.” Volokh, a UCLA law professor, said that restricting McClellan to 10 yards away from any child in California means “you can’t go to the store, you can’t walk down the street …. He can’t go to court to challenge this. How can you be sure you can stay away from anyone 17 and younger?”
. . . .
“They have an understandable worry this guy is going to do something bad,” said Volokh. “But that’s not enough. You need at least probable cause to believe some crime has been committed.”
I also tend to agree with the editors of the Los Angeles Times (and that’s a phrase I type with trepidation, believe me) when they say: “We want to thwart him, but not in ways that endanger our civil liberties.”
The thing is, what are the ways?