There was one sex offender in Franklin County who was not in compliance with requirements during a check Halloween night, Thursday, Oct. 31.
Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton said his office and police from Pacific, Union, St. Clair, Sullivan and Washington visited homes of registered sex offender who have specific restrictions regarding the holiday.
Officers checked that 53 offenders were in compliance. There are a total of 293 in Franklin County.
“These checks focused on subdivisions and trailer parks that experience an influx of children going door-to-door,” Pelton said. “After we targeted the subdivisions and trailer parks, then we hit the rural areas.”
According to state statutes, offenders convicted after Aug. 28, 2008, must comply with restrictions from participating in Halloween activities.
The compliance check allows investigators to ensure the offenders are compliant with both Missouri Sex Offender Rules and Regulations and the Department of Probation and Parole.
Pelton explained that sex offenders convicted after Aug. 28, 2008, must follow these rules:
• Avoid all Halloween related contact with children;
• Remain inside his or her residence between 5-10:30 p.m., unless required to be elsewhere for just cause, including but not limited to employment or medical emergencies;
• Post a sign at his or her residence stating, “No candy or treats at this residence;” and
• Leave all outside residential lighting off after 5 p.m.
According to Pelton, the person who was not in compliance did not have a sign at their home and an outdoor light was on. He added that the home was in a rural area and there was not any candy being handed out from the residence.
A warrant application was sent to the Franklin County Prosecutors Office to review the incident and decide if charges will be filed.
“Although, it is not required by statute for law enforcement to conduct compliance checks on Halloween, the law enforcement community of Franklin County makes every effort to ensure the safety of the children in our communities,” Pelton said.
By Missouri law, the sheriff’s office is responsible for the registering and monitoring of the sex offenders in the county.
For many years, the sheriff’s office has conducted compliance checks twice each year. During biannual checks, the sheriff’s office partners with other agencies, including the Marshal Service and other law enforcement agencies.
Those checks are not require, but they are done to better ensure the safety of county residents.
Compliance checks allow investigators to ensure the offenders are compliant with both Missouri Sex Offender Rules and Regulations and the Department of Probation and Parole.
Officers also check to ensure offenders are in compliance with conditions on the use of computer access/sites, email information and the identity of others who reside at the residence.
Missouri’s registration requirement law took effect in 1995 and was updated this year to classify sex offenders into three tiers. The most dangerous sex offenders are listed in Tier III for offenses that include rape, sodomy or first- or second-degree child molestation. Those offenders must register with local police every 90 days for the rest of their lives.
A map of offenders can be found on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website.