Man Challenging Sex Offender Bans Jailed

The man who triggered a huge backlash against Orange County’s top prosecutor over bans on sex offenders in parks is now himself back in trouble with the law.

Hugo Godinez, a 30 year-old Santa Ana resident and registered sex offender, was convicted last week of violating his probation and ordered to spend more than six months in jail, according to the district attorney’s office.

Prosecutors said that Godinez admitted approaching a boy in the probation office and trying to shake his hand; visiting a Carl’s Jr. restaurant that had a children’s play area; failing to report to his probation officer on four occasions; and not taking his prescribed psychotropic medications, among other violations in during the past two months.

Godinez has figured prominently in the regional debate over sex offender bans, which has been the signature policy push by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for the past couple of years.

Godinez was convicted of breaking the county’s sex offender ban in 2011 when he attended a Cinco de Mayo party at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

When he appealed the case, a panel of Superior Court judges overturned Godinez’s conviction and cast doubt on whether the local ordinance is legal.

In the wake of that decision, county sheriff’s deputies stopped enforcing the ordinance and Lake Forest repealed its ban.

Godinez became a registered sex offender as part of a 2010 conviction for sexual battery and attempted sexual battery. He was accused of slapping two women in the buttocks while walking in public.

For more information on Godinez, see:

District attorney’s press release on Godinez (March 26)

Article: DA Ready to Defend Banning Sex Offenders From Parks (Dec. 10)

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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