Notorious ‘Megan’s Law’ Sex Offender Denied Bid for Release

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A notorious child molester, who became the public face of Megan’s Law in the 1990s, lost another bid for freedom Wednesday.


Undated booking photo of Sid Nathaniel Landau. (Credit: KTLA)

Jurors in Santa Ana determined Wednesday that Sid Landau, 74, was a continued threat to children and should remain civilly committed as a Sexually Violent Predator, according to prosecutors in Orange County..

Landau has been held since 2000 under a law that allows authorities to keep some sex offenders in custody after prison.

In 1982, Landau was convicted of molesting a 10-year-old boy and sentenced to three years in state prison. He was arrested again in 1987 for molesting a 5-year-old boy, but the case was ultimately dismissed, prosecutors said.

In 1988, Landau pleaded guilty to 18 counts of lewd acts on a child for molesting a 9-year-old boy and received 17 years in state prison.

Landau became one of California‘s most notorious pedophiles in the 1990s when police enforcing Megan’s Law for the first time passed out fliers identifying him as a sex offender.

He was paroled in 1996, but only spent 15 months free over the next four years, as he continued to be re-imprisoned for extended periods of time for violating the terms of his parole, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2000, Landau was placed in a mental hospital after his prison term expired and prosecutors filed a Petition to have him declared an SVP based on evidence that Landau also molested additional victims besides those named in the prior criminal complaints, the release stated.

Beginning in 1961, Landau, then 21, molested an 8-year-old boy over the course of three years. In 1970, he molested another 8-year-old boy, and continued to do so until the boy was 15. While Landau can no longer be charged with
these crimes due to the statute of limitations, this evidence was used to show his continued pattern of sexual deviance, prosecutors said.

During Landau’s 2008 SVP trial, a doctor stated that based on the defendant’s number of known victims and rate of offenses, Landau likely had committed between 1,000 and 1,500 undetected molestations prior to his first conviction.