SB 145 Myths and Facts

Prepared by the Office of Senator Wiener, Equality California,
and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office

What is SB 145?

Senate Bill 145 ends California’s anti-LGTBQ discriminatory treatment of specific sex acts regarding sex offender registry law. Under longstanding California law, if an adult has voluntary penile-vaginal intercourse with a minor aged 14, 15, 16, or 17 and is up to 10 years older than the minor, the offense is not automatically registerable. A judge has discretion whether or not to place the defendant on the sex offender registry. By contrast, if the sexual act is oral sex, anal sex or digital penetration, the court must place the defendant on the sex offender registry regardless of the facts of the crime and even in cases where the prosecutor does not want to place the defendant on the registry. This distinction in the law is irrational and discriminatory towards LGBTQ youth. SB 1



❌ SB 145 is a fringe bill only supported by the far left.
SB 145 is supported by law enforcement, survivors’ advocates and civil rights groups. The bill is cosponsored by Los Angeles District Attorneys and Equality California. It is also supported by California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, California Police Chiefs Association, California District Attorneys Association, the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, and Children Now.
❌ SB 145 will weaken the sex offender registry.
✅ SB 145 will strengthen the registry. Right now, law enforcement is wasting resources monitoring 18-year-olds who had sex with their 17-year-old high school boyfriend or girlfriend — that’s wrong. The registry was not created to be a punishment for any offense, but rather invented as a tool for law enforcement to solve future sex crimes by tracking past offenders that are at risk of reoffending. Since these low-level offenses carry mandatory versus discretionary registration, the registry itself has become so bloated it has become an unworkable and useless tool for law enforcement to track predators and solve future crimes.
❌ SB 145 legalizes sex with minors/pedophilia.
SB 145 DOES NOT legalize or weaken the penalties for any conduct. These offenses remain crimes punishable by law, and a judge can still CHOOSE to put the older party on the registry if the case warrants it. Just like a judge can do with an offense involving penile-vaginal intercourse.
❌ SB 145 applies to youth under the age of 14.
This bill only applies to young people aged 14, 15, 16 or 17 and anyone within a 10 year age range. The vast, vast majority of cases where a judge may decide NOT to put someone on the registry will be cases where the age range is close (such as 17-year-old and 18-year-old couple). At the end of the day, a judge will have full discretion to place someone on the registry, and a prosecutor can seek it.
❌ SB 145 protects rapists.
✅ SB 145 only applies to voluntary sex. It does not apply in cases where one party does not believe the sexual contact was voluntary or the behavior was predatory. That’s why survivors’ advocates and groups like the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault support SB 145 and have state unequivocally that will not increase sexual abuse or assualt cases.
❌ SB 145 changes the age of consent and condones these behaviors. It will allow 24 year olds to prey on 14 year olds.
✅ The age of consent remains unchanged. Under current law, it is ILLEGAL for anyone over 18 to have any type of sex with a 14, 15, 16 or 17 year old. This REMAINS ILLEGAL under SB 145 and is punishable by law. The only change is that a judge can decide, when the sexual contact is oral, anal or digital, whether or not the older party should be on the sex offender registry – if the couple is close in age and the behavior was voluntary. Courts already hold this same discretion when the offense is penile-vaginal sex.

In the News on SB145

USA TODAY: Fact check: California's SB-145 eliminates an inequality in sex offender registration - link

APNews: Bill would not legalize pedophilia in California - link

PolitiFact: Claim Viewed By Millions On Social Media Says California Legalized Pedophilia. That Is False. - link

Lead Stories: Fact Check: California SB-145 Does NOT Change Felony Status of Pedophile Crimes; Judges Get Leeway On Sex Offender Registrations In More Cases Involving Consent - link