5 Years After Dubois Disappearance, a Look at Chelsea's Law

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chelsea King (left) and Amber Dubois (right)

     

    Five years after Escondido teen Amber Dubois went missing while walking to school, officials look back at the law aimed at preventing Dubois and Chelsea King's killer -- and convicted sex offenders like him -- from getting out of prison.

    Two events mark the somber anniversary on Thursday: The Chelsea’s Light Foundation released a year-long impact report of Chelsea’s Law, and Chelsea’s father Brent King returned to San Diego to speak to local schools about handling tough situations.

    Chelsea, 17, disappeared while on a run in the Rancho Bernardo Community Park on Feb. 25, 2010.

    The next year, John Gardner pleaded guilty to killing the girl. At the same time, he admitted to murdering Dubois and hiding her body in 2009.

    Gardner is now serving two consecutive life sentences without parole at Corcoran State Prison in Bakersfield.

    Since Chelsea’s death, the Kings – who now live in Illinois -- devoted their time to the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, which was instrumental in the passage of Chelsea’s Law in 2011.

    The law enhanced criminal sentencing for violent sexual offenders, mandated lifetime parole and GPS monitoring and created “safe zones” which prohibits sex offenders from visiting places where children gather.

    According to a newly released foundation report, 382 people were charged under Chelsea’s Law in 2013 across San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

    Here in San Diego County between Sept. 1, 2012 and Aug. 31, 2013, the District Attorney’s office charged 31 defendants with lewd or lascivious acts involving children, oral copulation and rape upon a minor 14 years of age or older and more.

    During that same time period, six defendants were sentenced under Chelsea’s Law provisions.

    "The legislation is working as we hoped. It's really narrow legislation, and we're just getting the worst of the worst off the street," said Brent King during his stop at Patrick Henry High School Thursday.

    The foundation’s annual event Finish Chelsea’s Run 5K will be held just four days after the fourth anniversary of her disappearance: March 1 at Balboa Park. The run is the primary fundraiser for the Sunflower Scholarship Fund in Chelsea’s honor.