Fact Check: California Did NOT Legalize Pedophilia With Senate Bill 145

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: California Did NOT Legalize Pedophilia With Senate Bill 145 Still Illegal

Did California approve a Senate bill "this week" in December 2022 that "legalizes pedophilia"? No, that's not true: Senate Bill 145 passed in California in 2020, not 2022, and it's intended to protect LGBTQ minors from discriminatory laws, not to be "pro-pedophilia." It only applies to people who are convicted, so it doesn't legalize actions that were illegal before, as Lead Stories reported in 2020.

The law allows judges to use their discretion to place people on the sex offender registry or not if they are convicted of having unforced oral or anal sex with a minor 14 to 17 years old and they are within a 10-year age range of each other. Judges previously only had the discretion to a young person off the sex offender registry if the unforced sex act was penile and vaginal.

There have been no changes or updates to the 2020 law as of December 14, 2022, the spokesperson for the senator who sponsored the bill told Lead Stories.

The claim appeared on Instagram on December 13, 2022. It opened:

Well, hello America. So, in breaking news out of California this week they've approved bill number SB 145. Now what the fuck is bill SB 145 you might ask? Well, it legalizes pedophilia in California.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-12-14 at 9.59.25 AM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Wed Dec 14 18:48:09 2022 UTC)

The person in the video also said:

You mean to tell me the California government thought it was a good idea to introduce this bill into legislation, and to pass this motherfucker? Which in essence says if you're a 50-year-old dude and you want to fuck an 11-year-old kid, cool, go ahead, cause we can't do shit to you. This on the heels of, you know, the fact that they've released thousands of sex offenders back into the general population of the world in the last couple weeks. paving the way for those motherfuckers to reoffend and y'all can't do shit about it. Time to take laws in your own hands because what is legal is no longer what is right.

"There are no updates or changes" to the law, Catie Stewart, communications director for California state Sen. Scott Wiener told Lead Stories via email on December 14, 2022. Wiener, a Democrat, was the sponsor of the bill.

A website prepared by his office, Equality California and the Los Angeles district attorney's office explains the "SB 145 MYTHS AND FACTS."

Myth: SB 145 legalizes sex with minors/pedophilia.

Fact: 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.

Screen Shot 2022-12-14 at 12.49.59 PM.png

(Source: Screenshot of website sd11.senate.ca.gov/sb145 taken on Wed Dec 14 18:51:12 2022 UTC)

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB145 into on September 9, 2020.

As Lead Stories previously reported, the law has nothing to do with "felony" sex with a minor. Sex, forced or nonforced, with minors is still illegal in California and is still a felony. The age of consent in California is 18, the Wallin & Klarich law firm reported.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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