Is Halloween Really More Dangerous for Kids? October 28, 2015
A lack of evidence doesn’t stop cities from rounding up sexual offenders on the holiday.
By Anat Rubin
This story was produced in collaboration with Mic.
Before the sun sets on Halloween, Allen O’Shea will make his way to the local courthouse in
, where he will remain for
several hours under the watchful eye of law enforcement until trick-or-treating
has ended. Gaston County,
This will be O’Shea’s first Halloween as a registered sex offender, a label he earned after having consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 19. He admits he was wrong. Still, being held in custody because costumed children are walking the streets asking for candy strikes him as absurd.
“My crime had nothing to do with kids,” he said. “I made a 19-year-old mistake. I didn’t go and molest a 5-year-old, and I’m being treated as someone who did.”
The consequences of ending up on a state sex offender registry are harsh, making it extremely difficult to find a job or even a place to live.
But on no day is the fallout stranger than it is on Halloween.
Some, including parts of
Virginia, Georgia, Delaware
require sex offenders on probation or parole report to designated locations.
Others, such as Texas Missouri, Florida
direct some offenders to post signs on their doors that say, “No candy or
treats at this residence.” Broader restrictions in most states direct people on
the registry to keep their lights off to deter trick-or-treaters and stay away
from children in costumes in their neighborhood or at the local mall. Nevada