Sex offenders off the streets during Halloween night

Published: Oct. 30, 2018 at 7:27 AM CDT
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As ghosts and ghouls roam the streets on Halloween night, so do kids in search of candy. That’s why the State Office of Parole and Probation is monitoring sex offenders during the holiday.

During peak trick or treat hours, the agencies will be splitting up into teams and visiting the vast majority of the 175 sex offenders on the list.

"We will be monitoring their compliance and going house to house that night and checking on them,” said David Gauthier, Sex Offender Coordinator. "Mostly those offenders with juvenile victims, but in our case load that may account for 85% of the 175."

Officials in the central Louisiana region monitor six parishes, including Rapides, Avoyelles, La Salle, Grant, Concordia, and Catahoula. Sex offenders are not allowed to participate in Halloween activities and must remain at home during peak trick or treating hours. Those on the registry are allowed to attend work with proper approval.

The agency does it to keep neighborhoods safe, but the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws said the expense of resources may be misplaced.

"The states that do absolutely nothing whatsoever have the same result as Louisiana. They have zero children assaulted on Halloween by someone on the sex offender registry," said Sandy Rozek, Communications Director for NARSOL.

The organization said there is no research that supports an increased threat of sexual harm to children on Halloween and no report has been found of a child being harmed by someone on the registry.

"The reality of child sexual abuse is that virtually all child sexual abuse is committed by those in the children's lives," said Rozek.

But on Halloween, officials are not leaving it to chance, believing it reduces tempt and recidivism.

"We think that this is a big part of why they don't re-offend or take part in illegal activities on Halloween is because they know we are out there,” said Gauthier.