October 30 2018
As if life was not already tough enough for anyone designated a sex offender, there is now an all-out push to find another reason to re-arrest sex offenders on Halloween.
The police are going to every registered sex offender warning them that on Halloween night, they cannot have their porch lights on, they cannot open their doors to anyone saying “trick or treat” lest they be arrested. If you are a sex offender and are on sex offender probation, my advice is to totally darken your house, cut off porch lights, have no decorations and do not answer the door. The police will be looking for any possible reason to arrest your and violate your sex offender probation. It was reported on television, here in Sarasota and in Bradenton that the police would be coming to sex offender’s houses checking to see if the sex offenders were passing out candy or wearing a costume.
The law is a ridiculous “feel good” law that serves no purpose.
The truth is that there is a misconception about “stranger danger” and an unfounded fear that sexual predators are walking the street seeking to grab children. I have been handling sex crime cases for over thirty years and have found that in almost every case, the sex crime is committed in the house or home by a relative or friend. Our criminal defense firm in over thirty years has only had one case dealing with a stranger. It is always someone close to the family, most often, a grandfather, a stepfather, an uncle or brother. The “feel good” laws are passed by people running for office and enforced by prosecutors seeking reelection. They do no good whatsoever. Your child is much more likely to be sexually abused by your priest, the school teacher or a trusted family friend than someone designated a sex offender living down the street. For those men who have been to prison and paid their debt to society, continuing a lifetime of public shame is contrary to rehabilitation and serves no purpose.