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Riverside County Supervisors Get Rid of 'Halloween Loophole' For Sex Offenders

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If you're a sex offender and you've already moved away from nearby schools, parks, swimming pools and libraries in Riverside County, you've got to one thing to your rather lengthy not to-do list.When Halloween rolls around this year, you have to tear down your decorations, turn off your lights and promise not to open your front door. The supervisors of Riverside County believe that Halloween is a loophole for sex offenders, because it's the one day every year when the children come to them instead of vice-versa.

"Usually, it is the perpetrators who go after their prey. This is a situation where the prey goes to where the perpetrators of these crimes are," said Supervisor Jeff Stone, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "I want to stop that."

Last night they passed emergency legislation that bars sex offenders from handing out candy to the little princesses and zombies of Riverside county. The measure passed easily with a 5-0 vote. The law applies to all unincorporated areas of Riverside County. Violations are misdemeanors, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. The supervisors added that they think that a law like this will eventually be passed at the state level, because it is such a massive loophole in Megan's Law.

But attention pearl-clutchers: just because the law passed STILL doesn't mean your children are safe. Supervisors ask parents to check the Megan's Law website before they take their kids trick-or-treating, and to report any violators. (But if you're really worried, chances are that if your child is abused, it will be by someone they already know, and probably a family member.)

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So if you're trick-or-treating in unincorporated Riverside and you see someone doesn't have their lights on, it's probably a fair assumption that they are sex offenders. While we're jumping to conclusions and everything.

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