Court-watchers got a first look on Wednesday at how the recently signed Chelsea's Law will affect sex offender cases.
A Lakeside man accused of exposing himself to two boys and fondling one of them was arraigned on Wednesday. Joseph Cantorna, 55, was arrested Sunday. Cantorna, who is mentally challenged, has a previous conviction of a lewd act against a child.
Because of the newly signed Chelsea's Law, prosecutors said they will be able seek a greater penalty against him.
“He's facing 25 years to life because we have an allegation attached to the felonies, which is multiple victims, an allegation that prior to Chelsea's Law was just 15 years to life but because of Chelsea's Law is 25 years to life,” said Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso.
This is one of the first sex offender cases in the county since Chelsea's Law was signed last Thursday.
"I think this makes it very real," said San Diego-based Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who authored Chelsea's Law. "Here we see someone who faces an increased penalty because of Chelsea's Law and it's definetly a good feeling."
Fletcher spoke to Chelsea King's parents after Cantorna's arraignment. He said, "I think the entire passage of Chelsea's Law and certainly today has been a comfort for them, knowing that out of this terrible tragedy of their daughter there was something positive that came from it."
Cantorna pleaded not guilty to charges. His bail is set at $1 million.