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.