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Slain Teen’s Dad Wants Tough Law Against Violent Sex Offenders In Illinois

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Chelsea King

Chelsea King, 17, was raped and murdered in San Diego in 2009. (Credit: CBS Los Angeles)

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — The FBI is honoring a Naperville man Friday, presenting him with the Director’s Community Leadership Award for taking a tragedy and using it as a vehicle for change.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports, two years ago, Chelsea King was about to start her life as a young adult.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports


Chelsea’s father, Brent King, called her a “remarkable daughter; one that everybody wishes they would have; a 17-year-old senior in high school, had applied to 13 colleges; accepted to all 13.”

Chelsea was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed while jogging near her home in San Diego in February of 2010.

The FBI says Brent King worked to help find his daughter’s killer, who turned out to be a registered sex offender. John Gardner had been imprisoned a decade ago for molesting his 13-year-old neighbor, but served only five years, despite a psychiatrist’s warning that he was still a dangerous predator, CBS News reported.

After confessing to the attack on Chelsea, Gardner also led authorities to the body of 14-year-old Amber Dubois, who had been missing since 2009. He is now serving a life sentence for the murders.

Afterward, Brent King and his wife, Kelly, successfully pushed for Chelsea’s Law in California.

Then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the law in September 2010.

But King says part of that law, which calls for monitoring convicted sexual predators once they’re out of prison, is not being funded.

“(California) Governor (Jerry) Brown is finding a way to fund a bullet train for a billion dollars, and he can’t find a way to fund this law this year,” King said.

King says he’d like to work to bring something similar to Chelsea’s Law to Illinois.

At first, King says he was reluctant to push for the law in Illinois, where the family now lives. His reluctance was out of concern for his 15-year-old son, knowing what a family commitment it would be.

“He’s now asked me, ‘When are we going to get Chelsea’s Law in Illinois? They need it,’” King said. “So that’s why I’m starting this process now.”

Click here to learn about Brent and Kelly King’s foundation, Chelsea’s Light.

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