Reprinted with permission by ky3.com
By Lexi Spivak . . . Before trick-or-treaters hit the streets, Springfield Police Officers will check the homes of registered sex offenders to make sure they’re compliant with the state Halloween Sex Offender Statute.
That statute states any person registered as a sexual offender under sections 589.400 to 589.425 must adhere to the following conditions on Halloween every year.
– Avoid all Halloween-related contact with children
– Remain inside his or her residence between the hours of 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies
– Post a sign at his or her residence stating, “No candy or treats at this residence”
– Leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.
“We will be doing compliance checks for that, we will put a squad out that goes and checks all of our listed sex offenders that we have in the city,” said Lieutenant Jennifer Charleston of the Springfield Police Department. Anyone who does not follow these instructions will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) does not believe this is constitutional. The Executive Director for the organization called it a “civil rights” issue in a phone interview with KY3 and KSPR News Reporter Lexi Spivak. Executive Director Brenda Jones said these annual checks on Halloween are unfair and paint an inaccurate and negative image of registered sex offenders. She expressed that what’s in their past should be left in the past.
She also said if parents want to protect their kids they should keep focusing on teaching them “what’s been taught for generations.” “If you want to protect your child from sexual abuse, you need to teach them about the respect for their bodies, respect for other people’s bodies, and what to do if someone makes you uncomfortable regarding your body,” said Jones.
The Springfield Police Department offers more safety tips for families and trick-or-treaters ahead of the holiday’s festivities on their website. Parents can also find the map to registered sex offenders in their area by following the link.