Cole Co. Sheriff's Dept. Does Sex Offender Check on Halloween

Cole County Sheriff's Deputies went around the county Halloween night to verify registered sex offenders were complying with restrictions they must abide by on Halloween.

According to sheriff's department reports, 18 offenders were checked with 14 found to be compliant, two not at home and two that did not follow all restrictions.

Additional investigations are continuing on those not at home or non-compliant.

Violators can be guilty of a class a misdemeanor.

The law requires that convicted sex offenders avoid all Halloween-related contact with children; remain inside their residence between 5-10:30 p.m., unless required to be elsewhere for a just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies; post a sign on the residence stating, "No candy or treats at this residence"; and leave all outside residential lighting off during the evening hours after 5 p.m.

"We made contact, located, or left contact information with all of the offenders," Sheriff Greg White said. "With them knowing we do check on them, their compliance increases."

This Halloween offender check started last year to verify all offenders in the county.

Those offenders not home are investigated further to verify their residency by checking their mail delivery, vehicles at the residence and speaking with neighbors.

Deputies also look for proximity to child care and school facilities and vehicles accessible to the offenders.

Per state statute, offenders are required to register within three days of a conviction or plea, regularly update their information with local law enforcement, advise any moves within three days, report employment or if attending educational institutions, and, if convicted after July 2004, they cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility.

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