A registered sex offender was arrested, again, earlier this month after detectives from San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office discovered he was breaking the terms of his release.
Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit detectives nabbed Clarence Edson, 62, on June 1, nearly 30 years after his original arrest.
“After repeated efforts to get Edson to take advantage of treatment-related services were unsuccessful, he was determined to be a continued threat to public safety and was taken into custody pending the revocation of his release,” authorities said.
Edson, who lives in Stockton, was arrested in 1993 for multiple counts of lewd and lascivious acts with minors by force or fear, authorities said.
Edson attempted to escape from the San Joaquin County Jail in 1994 by changing into the coveralls of female inmates. He was found by deputies about 90 minutes after he fled the jail and was charged with escape.
A few days prior to his escape, Edson was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for molesting a 12-year-old Stockton boy.
The Stockton man served a previous prison term after being sentenced to 15 years in 1984 for sodomizing an 11-year-old boy, also from Stockton.
He has been a registered sex offender ever since leaving prison.
Federal law requires sex offenders to be listed in a national registry, under Megan’s Law. Some states also require registered sex offenders to get special driver’s licenses or IDs that identify them as such. California is not one of those states.
“If registered, a sex offender’s personal identifying information is normally made available online to the general public,” said Michael O’Hear, a law professor at Marquette University.
That personal information includes a sex offender’s address, their physical characteristics, what car they drive, and the nature of their crime. Offenders are “required to update their registration in each jurisdiction they reside, are employed, or attend school,” according to the Justice Department.
Edson was transferred to a state prison hospital on June 5. Edson will be required to go to treatment daily while behind bars.
Megan’s Law is a federal law in the United States that requires law enforcement authorities to provide identifying information to the public regarding registered sex offenders.
California’s Megan’s Law was enacted in 1996. It mandates the California Department of Justice to notify the public about specified registered sex offenders. In addition, Megan’s Law authorizes local law enforcement agencies to notify the public about sex offender registrants found to be posing a risk to public safety, according to its website.
Any person can search for registered sex offenders in their neighborhood by typing their address in the search bar on the California Megan’s Law website.
Record reporter Hannah Workman covers news in Stockton and San Joaquin County. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @byhannahworkman. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at recordnet.com/subscribenow.