Crime Victims Blast Nelson for Cover-Up

Orange County Supervisor Candidate First Denies, Then Admits He Hid Law Firm Solicitations to Sex Offenders So He Could Run for Office

FULLERTON, CA – Leaders of Crime Victims United of California today blasted Shawn Nelson for his cover-up of web solicitations advising convicted sex offenders. Nelson admitted his law firm’s ads about avoiding Megan’s Law registration requirements were just a way to boost his site’s ranking on Google.

“The last thing Orange County needs is someone like Shawn Nelson whose law firm advertises to convicted sex offenders and then hides it from the public,” said Harriet Salarno, chair of Crime Victims United of California. “Our leaders should stand up for victims, not hide what they put on their criminal defense website so they can run for County Supervisor.” 

While running for County Supervisor, Shawn Nelson called accusations of a cover-up “baseless.” Then he finally “admits removing that language from his web site” to the Orange County Register just days before the election. Nelson said it “was a just a way to get higher rankings on Google.” 

“Why would Shawn Nelson place his criminal defense website’s popularity above the safety of families?” asked Salerno, who noted her organization rarely gets involved in races at local level, but the seriousness of Nelson’s cover-up spurred them to act so the public has the information they need before Election Day.

“The absolute last thing we need, at any level of government, is a politician who places his website’s popularity above families’ safety,” added Nina Salarno-Ashford, executive board member of Crime Victims United.

Nina Salamo Ashford

According to the Orange County Register, Shawn Nelson owns a law practice whose web site solicited business from sex offenders. “Nelson’s firm has a criminal defense department, and he admits removing that language from his web site.” (Orange County Register, May 22, 2010)

Nelson’s hidden “Failure to Register” advertisement solicited new clients for his law firm by stating: “If you have been previously convicted of a sex crime, you should first be aware that it may be possible to appeal that conviction. Defendants should exercise their right to appeal and ensure that they must register as a sexual offender in their community.”

Nelson’s law firm also expressed sympathy for these criminals, stating “The social stigma associated with being a registered sex offender often makes it difficult to not only obtain employment, but may also affect your ability to form personal relationships and even find a place to live.” 

“We worked hard to make sure parents had a way to know just who is living in their communities,” continued Salarno-Ashford, who helped push to make the Megan’s Law database available online. “For Shawn Nelson’s law firm to give convicted sex offenders advice on how to delay registering, and then hide it as he runs for office, shows he has the wrong priorities.”



Crime Victims United of California works to raise elected leaders’ awareness of the toll crime takes on our society and on the victims it creates. Their mission is to make sure law-abiding Californians have the rights, protections and respect they deserve.

Crime Victims United’s goals include maintaining and strengthening “Megan’s Law” to ensure parents have the ability to protect their children from sexual predators who live in their neighborhoods. And preventing sex offenders from working/living close to schools and parks as provided under “Jessica’s Law.”

Crime Victim United also issued an endorsement of Harry Sidhu for 4th District Supervisor.