Heartland authorities to make sure sex offenders follow the rule - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland authorities to make sure sex offenders follow the rules on Halloween

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)
(KFVS) -

Halloween is right around the corner, but local authorities say a registered sex offender could be too.

There are a handful of neighborhoods in Cape Girardeau and Carbondale that are home to sex offenders.

That is why local authorities and even Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan are reminding parents to check the sex offender registry before trick-or-treating.

Madigan has said in the past, the best practice is to plan a safe route for your child before you head out.

In both Missouri and Illinois, sex offenders are required by law to avoid children on Halloween.

In some cases, deputies will conduct sexual offender compliance checks during Halloween activities.

That will be the case in Scott County.

Sheriff Rick Walter said his office will pursue criminal charges against any sex offender who breaks the law on the holiday.

On Monday, the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Office will also do compliance checks to make sure sex offenders are following the law.

What to look for when trick-or-treating:

On Halloween, any person in Missouri who is required to register as a sex offender should:

  • avoid Halloween-related contact with children,
  • remain inside their  home between the house of 5 p.m. and 10:30 unless they must be somewhere else for reasons like work or medical emergencies,
  • post a sign at their home saying, "No candy or treats at this residence",
  • leave all outside residential lighting off after 5 p.m.

Missouri sex offenders who don't follow this law can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

Parents in Missouri can find out if there is a registered sex offender in their area by searching a database operated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

CLICK HERE to see if there is a sex offender in your neighborhood.

However, the highway patrol has a disclaimer: it can't promise that the information is accurate.

Even Adam Glueck, a sergeant with the Cape Girardeau Police Department, points out that the online site might not include all sex offenders who have moved or are considered an "absconder."

Glueck says it is best to make sure your kids are supervised by a parent when they are trick-or-treating.

Illinois state law prohibits all child sex offenders from distributing candy or other items to kids on Halloween.

Additionally, they are also prohibited from having their porch lights on, and from leaving their homes, except for verified work purposes.

In the past, Illinois authorities will do compliance checks on known sexually violent persons to verify if the offenders actually live where they claim.

According to the Illinois Sex Offender Information website, there are 49 offenders listed in Carbondale alone.

CLICK HERE to see if you might come across a sex offender in your area.

Kentucky does not have any specific laws for sex offenders on Halloween.

However, anyone 18 years of age or older who has committed a sex crime or a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor, is required to register as a sex offender.

Sexually violent predators are also required to register. 

Information on adults who have committed sex crimes or crimes against minors is made available to the public on a website maintained by the Kentucky State Police.

A simple search found a total of 80 registered offenders in the Paducah, Ky. area.

CLICK HERE to see how close a sex offender lives to you.

Is there a real risk on Halloween?

A researcher at Lynn University found there was not an increased rate of non familial sex crimes against children on or just after Halloween.

The study concluded: “Halloween appears to be just another autumn day where rates of sex crimes against children are concerned."

The researcher says parents should supervise their children on Halloween, but any excessive worry about the risk of child sexual abuse on Halloween is unwarranted.

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