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The Sex Offenders of Laguna Beach

And a poll: What would you do if you found out a sex offender lived in your neighborhood?

The Coastline Pilot this week takes the Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan case deeper with this lengthy report on registered sex offenders who live or work in Laguna Beach.

Maralan, you'll remember, was the manager of the in the downtown village. He's accused of rape, battery, and other incidents that took place inside his Ocean Avenue shop. But while Maralan—who had been convicted of sexual assaults in other cities before the alleged crimes in the rug gallery surfaced—was registered in his home city of Laguna Niguel, he was unregistered in Laguna Beach, his place of employment.

The paper's Joanna Clay uses this as a jump-off point to explore the stories of two unnamed registered sex offenders who live in Laguna Beach. Clay gets quotes, and the men offer insights on what it's like to live in the Scarlet Letter age of the Megan's Law website, where anyone can find out if there's an offender in their neighborhood.

From the story:

He said he can understand why some find Megan's Law helpful — it lists the names, addresses and offenses of some sex offenders. However, he said it could lead to a society where sex offenders lack the same rights as other citizens.

"[Megan's Law], in and of itself in a vacuum, can be a good thing, but in the context of contemporary society's view of sex offenses, it's a bad thing because it's one step closer to abandoning all constitutional rights for all people convicted of this sort of thing," he said. "If people reading this story don't think sex offenders have constitutional rights, they're flat wrong."

There are further details about Maralan's case, the legal implications of sex offender ordinances, and the current Orange County trend of banning offenders from city parks, an issue that has yet to come before the Laguna Beach city council.

Sandra Myers February 26, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Yet, 95% of everyone in Laguna want to run the sex offenders out of town with pitchforks and torches, according to the poll. What gives?
Time 2 Get Real February 26, 2012 at 08:25 AM
Apparently the people of Laguna Beach falsely believe that running a registered sex offender out of town will make them safe, which it won't. Someone above commented correctly that 95% or more of sex offenses are committed by people not on the registry. In fact, after a certain amount of time, scientific studies show that most registrants risk of recidivism is not much more than the average guy. But if registries and pitch forks make you feel better, then enjoy yourselves. But PLEASE, people of Laguna Beach, don't take your attention off your kids because you check some worthless registry website and think your safe because an offender is not in your immediate area. Registries are at best a false sense of security, and at worst a catalyst for vigilante acts and a destabilizing influence on the former offender.
Shelly Stow February 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I am wondering why the author of this article and creator of the poll chose to word the last choice with such inflammatory words and images evocative of distant days in our society when those in white robes were holding the pitchforks and doing the chasing and most likely not being satisfied with just running their targets out of town.
Shelly Stow February 26, 2012 at 01:44 PM
What gives is believing the myths that permeate the entire sex offender issue. Some people just want someone else to hate and to feel superior to, and registrants are easy targets. Most people, however, are sincerely frightened for their children, which makes them also easy targets for the hype but also makes them willing to do the research and find out the facts and truth so that they really can protect their children. Not the registry nor any sort of restriction ordinances will do that. As one writer so colorfully put it in trying to make people see where the real risk to children is, "While Mommy was glued to the computer and writing down the addresses of everyone on the registry within a mile's radius of the house, Daddy was in the next room sexually molesting Sally while they watched television together.
The One February 26, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The O.C. TV show was very inaccurate-- real Californians know that Orange County is the ultra-conservative redneck section of California, they're the Beverly Hillbillies. After all, Orange County is where they beat Kelly Thomas to death with some good ol' boy Southern Justice.
Jill Smith February 26, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I did have a person on the registry live a few houses down from me in 2003-2006, but guess what, he had molested his own daughter. He is consistent with what the data continues to show, that 95% of child sex abuse is by a family member or someone close to the child and not on the registry. My children were always taught that their bodies are their's and no matter who it was, if someone touched them in a bad place, they could come to me! They were taught that before I lived by this person. This person's son though was a very angry boy. He was 9 and in my daughter's class. I'm sure he had to move several time because of his dad and was harassed because of the registry. Who knows where this kid ended up, but I'm sure it isn't a good place. The cycle may never break for this family.
Shana Rowan February 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Let them have their pitchforks, parks bans, residency restrictions and other feel-good laws. Then, when sex crime continues at the same rate, they'll have no one to blame but their own ignorant, intolerant selves.
C. H. Boyd February 26, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Lost a lot of credibility with the survey using rabble rousing language which is beneath the community.
Rich Kane February 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
C.H. - When you say "community," do you claim to speak for all 22,000+ people of Laguna Beach? Clearly some folks reeeeeeeeeally hate sex offenders ....
Shelly Stow February 26, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Jill, what you are teaching your children is the number one best defense against your children becoming victims, about a thousand times more valuable than putting any credence in what the registry tells you. Yes, the situation you cite is very sad. Statistics show that incest offenders, once arrested and punished, have a tiny re-offense rate. His son's anger was almost certainly due to his father's inclusion on the registry which creates a very unstable lifestyle and works nothing but detriment to the family and children. They are collateral damage of a system that is broken and badly in need of repair. Touted by proponents as a way to keep children safe, which it does not do at all, the registry instead makes children victims in two ways, one of which is exemplified by the boy of whom you speak. The other is including children, some as young as ten, on sex offender registries for normal childish curiosity, play, and experimentation as well as young teens for consensual sexual activity. The registry as it is today has no up-side, only down.
Barbara McMurray February 26, 2012 at 09:26 PM
I am heartened by the written comments to this inflammatory piece, which are the complete opposite, thank goodness, of the results of the silly "poll" that accompanied it. Must be a slow news day, Patch is trotting out the old "what would you do/Megan's List" story to fan the flames of intolerance. I agree with the more educated of the commenters who know that some lame, outdated list on a computer is no match for the pedophiles you know but don't suspect and unwittingly welcome into your home. And that the best way to protect your children is to inoculate them from harm by educating them about their rights to their own bodies. There is so much ignorance on this topic, I'm glad to see that not a single commenter here played into it, even though the "voters" did.
Barbara McMurray February 26, 2012 at 09:40 PM
It is my understanding that the young women and girls who were sexually assaulted by this rug salesman Maralan knew him and his family, and were in several cases brought to his shop by family members during shopping trips or for employment opportunities at his shop. They were afraid to speak out after the crimes because they and their families knew him and thought they would not be believed or would be blamed for having invited his sexual advances. No dopey registry, no banning from a park or living near a school would have prevented these crimes or protected these young women. Maralan knew he had victims he could take easily advantage of and who had something to risk if they reported him, which they ultimately and courageously did. The Jethro Tull version of the sexual predator sitting on a park bench eyeing little girls with bad intent needs updating. It's Uncle Joe, it's Grandpa, it's that nice man or lady from church - bottom line, you have to give kids the tools to develop the ability to know what's ok and what's not, to learn confidence and participate in the world, and to have a trustworthy person to go to for information and help when they need it.
The One February 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Oh, look! Determined Fiend/ aka Cynthia Jean (Dale) Harvey is here, attacking others. Ms. Harvey can't talk about anyone-- she is a self-loathing man hater who is a lesbian and involved in the BSDM lifestyle. She attacks others because it is in her lifestyle choices. She suffers from paranoia and RA, which makes her rage all the more. She is a danger to society and should be locked up. You can read about this sick woman here: http://azu-info.blogspot.com/2007/01/rookiee-determinedpj.html
Rudy101 February 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM
WOW! I do not condone attacking other people for any reason. The sex offender registry laws will fail on their own accord. But I did find this definition of FIEND on the net: fiend    [feend] Show IPA noun 1. Satan; the devil. 2. any evil spirit; demon. 3. a diabolically cruel or wicked person. 4. a person or thing that causes mischief or annoyance: Those children are little fiends. 5. Informal . a person who is extremely addicted to some pernicious habit: an opium fiend. Why would someone who is supposed to be virtuous in her advocacy use the word FIEND as her moniker? Strange, indeed.
Valerie Parkhurst March 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Actually that isnt quite correct..the Wall Street Journal just did a piece by a writer known as the "numbers guy" I doubt the resident freaks a or their advocates or going to like it..(where are those little smiley faces) the re-offend rate for convicted sex offenders has now officially listed at 50% ..so what does that mean? You have two convicts living in your area, take to the bank One of them is going to "crash and burn" and gather another victim under his belt..comforting UH??? Most researchers agree crimes committed after a first brush with law enforcement count as recidivism, detected or not. But Ohio Northern University criminologist Keith Durkin points to anonymous surveys in which sex offenders "admit to as many undetected offenses as the number for which they have been caught". He views 50% as a conservative estimate for recidivism.
The One March 03, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Oh great, Miss Misinformation is here. Give it a rest Valigator. First of all, you are confusing specific recidivism with general recidivism. Specific recidivism (sex offenders committing new sex crimes) are extremely low. General recidivism refers to a rearrest for anything. So if a registrant is on probation and he misses the phone call because he was on the throne or stuck in LA traffic, he's now a "general recidivist." For you to imply that general recidivism equals adding another victim under his belt is mentally retarded.
Shelly Stow March 03, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Just published yesterday, March 2 http://sexoffenderfacts.blogspot.com/2012/03/hundreds-of-sex-offender-registry-web.html. "Hundreds of sex offender registry web sites drop bogus recidivism statistic." "Offender Watch Systems runs hundreds of sex offender registry web sites across the country, both on the state and local level. This includes several counties in NY. Each of these web sites contains a presentation which states: "50% of sex offenders re-offend." A few days ago, Tom Condon in a column in the Hartford Courant questioned why the Connecticut Sex Offender Registry web site was giving a 50% recidivism figure when a recent Connecticut study showed the actual recidivism rate was 2.7 percent. No doubt this caused Connecticut to look into this bogus statistic. The result was that Offender Watch Systems dropped this statistic from the Connecticut site and also from the hundreds of other sites that use their presentation and service." It is worth noting that Offender Watch has made and continues to make millions from their services which depend on keeping the level of fear high.
Valerie Parkhurst March 03, 2012 at 11:57 PM
umm the ONE .hate to be the one to break it to you..but your opinions of anyone who actually brings information to the party thats documented signed, sealed and delivered dont outweighs that sex offender status you got hanging off your neck and your name.these forums are a poker game .I 'll raise ya on for Shana's link more valuable for the community dont ya think? , ya know the one that is designated "Violent Sexual offender" victim being female 6 years old..
Valerie Parkhurst March 03, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Rudy 101 where is your exo-facto BS-o speech? I thought they violated you???
The One March 04, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Valerie Parkhurst is a violent vigilante with a serious anger management problem. She has a habit of pulling guns on people who get upset with her constant harassment. You can simply look her up online.
Rudy101 March 04, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Hey Valerie! You are your worst enemy and as long as they give you information on a registry it does not have to be followed. But I can't be violated, because I don't break legitimate laws. You been to jail lately???? You are a self-admitted cop=hater. I figure it is just a matter of time.
Rudy101 March 04, 2012 at 02:49 AM
That poll above, was non-scientific, but shows the lack of protection that a registant has. This is plenty enough evidence to show that the registry IS dangerous to the community by the mere fact that members of it (registrants) are the focal point of hostility and violence.
The One March 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
And look at Cynthia Jean Harvey's frumpy trashbag sweats when she goes out to conduct barnyard sodomy (which is legal in Trashville, TN): http://absolutezerounites.blogspot.com/2012/02/hey-cynthia-dale-harvey.html and http://azu-info.blogspot.com/2007/01/rookiee-determinedpj.html You are out of your league, Cynthia Jean Harvey.
Rudy101 March 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
It is so pathetic that your arguments can't stand on their own and that all you can do is attack, not ideas, but people.
Rudy101 March 04, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Do you know what is so funny, it is the attempt by some on these forums to silence others or take away their credibility by showing everyone that they are one of "those" people. Despotism NEVER allows those that the despots targets to EVER have a thing to say. It complicates the despotism greatly...
Shelly Stow March 04, 2012 at 03:05 AM
One, I understand the temptation, but let's try not to resort to name-calling and snideness. Those are the only weapons they have, but we can do better. We don't want to sink to their level. Peace, friend.
The One March 04, 2012 at 03:35 AM
She can try all she wants but she'll NEVER silence me. The more Determined Fiend Cynthia Harvey rails against me, the more determined I am to fight back. No one takes them seriously except maybe others who get their jollies out of hurting people. Well they've tried to assassinate my character, threaten to kill me, and make outlandish claims, but all they've ever managed to do is help me advertise my website. http://www.oncefallen.com/ Here is the site they hate so much, the website used by attorneys, researchers, and others who want a REAL education on sex offender laws. It must really hurt them knowing that four years of ad hominems and character attacks have not broken my will but strengthen it. However, you do need to learn the difference between a jacket with a college sport logo and a "role play" outfit. You're none too bright, Cynthia.
The One March 04, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Sink? Hell, I'd have to dig a pretty deep hole.
Valerie Parkhurst March 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
How many screen names do you have Derek? Intially I didnt think that "The One" was you, silly me, I need to pay better attention....I am starting to realize anything with "lesbian" in it, must be written by you..
Rudy101 March 04, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Don't you people get it? It is not about exposing people (I know some of you think it is your power) but about IDEAS! The question is: Can the ideas of a public filled with hate and violence toward a group of people survive? I know nobody thinks it is that important, but truly the fate of the world depends upon it. Why? Because when the U.S. gets attacked again by a group of criminals (as in 9/11) the U.S. may just have that tendency to blame a whole society or a culture. In other words, if you can't see people as individuals, you will destroy the world.

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