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Riverside passes Halloween sex offender ban

October 18, 2011 |  3:08 pm

This post has been amended. See details below.

Riverside County supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ban registered sex offenders from putting up Halloween decorations or handing out candy to children.

The measure takes effect immediately.

The state attorney general's office lists 2,584 registered sex offenders residing in Riverside County, but the ban applies only to sex offenders in unincorporated  areas. 

Registered sex offenders will now be banned from answering the door to trick-or-treaters or putting Halloween decorations on their homes between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31 each year.

Beyond that, they will be prohibited from leaving any external lights on between 5 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Halloween night.

Supervisor Jeff Stone, who introduced the ordinance, noted that the cities of Orange and San Jacinto already have similar measures in place.

The Murrieta Police Department has sent out yearly warnings to sex offenders convicted of crimes against children.

"To avoid any unnecessary allegations of impropriety with minors, I strongly suggest you protect yourself by voluntarily refraining from interacting with the children during the trick-or-treat holiday," the letter from Murrieta Police Chief Mark Wright said last year.

The city of Perris voted down a similar proposal after concerns about civil rights violations were raised. 

[For the record at 5 p.m. on Oct. 20: An earlier version of this post included a photo of an elaborately decorated home, which had no connection to this story. The Times regrets the error.]

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-- Abby Sewell


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