LEVASY, Mo. -- While children and families made the neighborhood rounds to load up on as much candy as possible on Halloween, deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spent the evening going door-to-door on a mission of a different kind.
Under Missouri state law, registered sex offenders are forbidden from engaging in any Halloween-related activities with children.
Registered offenders are required to remain at home, with outside lights turned off between 5-10:30 p.m. with a visible sign stating no candy will be handed out at those homes.
“Everybody wants to make sure that these people are staying in compliance, so families out there that have kids trick-or-treating know that the sheriff’s office is out there enforcing the rules and restrictions of the offenders,” Dep. Sean Plain said.
So on Thursday night, FOX4 accompanied Plain for a Halloween check-in on Tier 3 (the highest risk to re-offend) offenders in northeast Jackson County.
The first registered offender in Levasy was found to be in full compliance with the law.
“He is in compliance tonight," Plain said. “He didn’t have any lights on, and he does have a sign right out front, saying there’s no candy being distributed at this address.”
But two other checks during a FOX4 ridealong in the northeast reaches of Jackson County did find two registered offenders who were not in compliance with Missouri’s law.
At one address in Levasy, there was no home, or camper, at all.
Even if that’s as a result of last spring’s flooding, Plain said that’s immaterial. A registered offender who moves, for any reason, is required to register the new address. In Missouri, a high-level offender can’t simply go off the grid.
In Kansas, the state law regarding Halloween, trick-or-treating and registered sex offenders differs from Missouri’s.
Although offenders in Kansas are not explicitly banned from Halloween activities, local police routinely visit those homes in the days leading up to the holiday and often suggest offenders have another adult at the home if they plan to hand out candy.