The parents of a California teen who was raped and murdered by a sex offender this year will join Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday as he signs into law a bill that increases penalties for certain sex offenses.
Named after 17-year-old Chelsea King, "Chelsea's Law" increases penalties for forcible sex acts against minors and mandates lifetime parole for certain sex offenders.
Schwarzenegger will be joined by the teen's parents, Brent and Kelly King, and the bill's sponsor, Assemblymember Nathan Fletcher, as he signs it into law at Balboa Park in San Diego, California at 9:45 a.m. PT. The event will be webcast live at www.gov.ca.gov.
"Chelsea's Law" has an urgency clause attached to it that means it will take effect as soon as it is signed.
The bill creates a penalty of life without the possibility of parole for forcible sex crimes against minors that include aggravating factors, such as the victim's age or whether the victim was bound or drugged.
"Chelsea's Law" also sets criteria for assessing the risk of recidivism and, based on that risk, placing certain paroled sex offenders under greater supervision.
Registered sex offender John Gardner III has admitted to killing King and 14-year-old Amber Dubois. He was sentenced in April to three consecutive terms of life without parole for the murders and an attack on a jogger in a plea deal that spared him the death penalty.
Dubois' father is behind three assembly bills concerning law enforcement response to missing children. They are also awaiting Schwarzenegger's signature.