A Los Angeles Superior Court judge granted an injunction Friday, August 3rd, barring a self-described pedophile from photographing or contacting minor children and posting their photos on the Internet without parental consent.
Judge Melvin Sandvig’s ruling was a victory for two Santa Clarita attorneys who were seeking the restraining order against Jack McClellan on behalf of their daughters. McClellan has previously been spotted in Mar Vista and in a Santa Monica library, as well as Santa Clarita.
The attorneys, whose daughters have not been approached by McClellan, were understandably happy with Sandvig’s decree.
“People have been given hope again that our system works,” said Richard Patterson, one of the lawyers who initiated the restraining order request.
The order also prohibits McClellan from following, stalking, hitting or loitering near any minor. He is not allowed to approach a child within ten yards.
McClellan, who has openly admitted his attraction to underage girls in interviews and has drawn national attention due to his views, is not wanted for any crimes, has no criminal record and is not a registered sex offender.
McClellan, who was served with the injunction by Santa Clarita attorney Anthony Zinnatti August 3rd, once operated a controversial Web site where he posted photographs of minors, detailing where and when he had taken them. Authorities say that the Web site catered to pedophiles.
The Santa Monica Police Department circulated a bulletin warning parents about McClellan on July 26th. The advisory showed his photograph, date of birth, height and weight, and mentioned that he had been spotted in the Santa Monica Main Library. It also provided information on the make and model of his car.
Santa Monica police spokesman Lt. P.J. Guido told The Argonaut that releasing information about someone who has not committed a crime or is not a suspect is not the department’s normal procedure.
“We usually don’t do something like this,” he acknowledged, “But Mr. McClellan has made it very clear that he was interested in young children.
“[Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman] decided that it was in the best interest of the residents of Santa Monica to take this action.”
McClellan has promised that he will no longer engage in looking at photographs of underage children online or list places where he photographs them.
“I’ve listened to all the criticism, the outrage about the photographs,” he said recently. “I want to make this clear: I’m definitely not going to go to those events, and I’m not going to be taking pictures where I’m focusing on girls, or going back to the computer at home and crop them out to focus on girls. I’m not going to do that anymore.”
One parent had mixed feelings about the police bulletin.
“He says that he’s a pedophile, but he’s never done anything. He’s never molested a child,” Sharon Hart told a local television station. While she is glad to be aware of someone with McClellan’s views, Hart is conflicted about the police bulletin.
“So is it a violation of his rights? Yeah,” she told the station.
“Each case is different; each case is unique,” said Guido. “The responsibility fell on the chief’s shoulders to protect the children of Santa Monica. He feels confident that [circulating McClellan’s photo and personal information] was the right decision.
“Sometimes you have to take a risk.”
Guido could not say for certain if Jackman had consulted with the city attorney’s office prior to issuing the bulletin.
Calls from The Argonaut to Santa Monica city attorney Marsha Moutrie had not been returned at press time.
Patterson was unavailable for comment and Zinnatti did not return calls made to his Valencia law office.
McClellan initially threatened to sue the Santa Monica Police Department for issuing the bulletin with his name and image. To date, no lawsuit has been filed.
The court injunction is temporary. Attorneys will return to court on August 24th to argue for a permanent injunction against McClellan, whose whereabouts are currently unknown.