National RSOL, an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the civil rights of registered sex offenders, is challenging the nation’s media to find JUST ONE case of predation by a registered sex offender against a trick-or-treating minor. Just one. Ever.
Now that it’s Halloween, articles are doubling and tripling and quadrupling the predictable warning about the dangers trick-or-treating children face from registered sex offenders living in their midst. The favored tactic is to display a map of the town or city and sprinkle it with bright red or yellow or orange dots, each dot representing the home of someone on the registry. Headlines scream, “Places to avoid on Halloween,” with maybe some ominous sounding music added to enliven the spooky vignette.
But RSOL’s own research reveals absolutely no reports, past or present, of a random child being abducted or assaulted while engaged in Halloween activities by someone on a sex offender registry. Furthermore, according to Dr. Jill Levenson and a study done at Lynn University, no correlation exists between Halloween and an increased risk of sexual harm to children.
Sandy Rozek, RSOL’s communications director, states, “I know what I’d like to see. I’d like them to put up a map showing all the places a child has been attacked on Halloween by a registered citizen. You know what that would look like? No dots – none.”
“This is all based on myth and monster-stories,” said Robin Vanderwall, president of the North Carolina affiliate of RSOL. “A lot of money is wasted and a lot of registrants and registered families are senselessly deprived of their porch lights on account of an issue that doesn’t even exist. Law enforcement personnel should be out enjoying Halloween with their own children, not sent house to house to harass American citizens.”
As an example of how odd and useless these restrictions can be, a Kansas member of RSOL recently commented, “My son was notified today that he must report to his probation office from 6 to 9 pm on Halloween where he will be treated along with others on the SO registry to some kind of film. Here is the absolute insanity of this requirement. He lives with me, over one hundred miles from his probation office. I have lived in the country for 21 Halloweens, and I have never had a child at my door here in all those years to trick or treat. So he is being required to travel over two hours to be present in the city where many children will be out and about. He will then be released after 9 pm to travel another two plus hours back to my isolated country home where I will have had no visitors that night. Does everyone feel safer now?”