CA-RSOL challenges Halloween sign requirement for sex offenders
By Marty Graham [Reuters] . . .
A paroled sex offender in Southern California sued the state’s Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections on Thursday, arguing that rules imposed on sex offenders during Halloween trick or treating violate his constitutional rights.
The complaint, which was filed in federal court and identifies the parolee only as John Doe from San Diego County, challenges a requirement that sex offenders post a sign on their front doors during Halloween that reads: “We do not participate in Trick or Treating. Please do NOT disturb.”
The lawsuit, brought by the parolee and a nonprofit group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws, argues that the rules violate his First Amendment right by forcing him to post the sign, and his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.
The complaint also says the rules put offenders and their families in danger.
According to Doe’s lawyer, Janice Bellucci, he was convicted of one sex crime more than 30 years ago and has not committed a sex offense nor been arrested for one since. He is on parole for a drug offense, she said. He is still required to post the sign.
“This is a solution without a problem,” Bellucci said. “(The corrections department’s) sign requirement is based upon myth, not facts. The facts are there are no reports in California of a sexual assault upon a child who goes trick or treating.”
Bellucci said it puts Doe and every member of his household at risk. “This is like drawing a target on his house,” she said. (Please see full Reuters article here)