Simi Valley officials in California last month approved a ban on all Halloween decorations for sex offenders, a law meant to keep children away from their homes. Now a group of sex offenders are suing the city while claiming that the law violates their 1st Amendment rights and the rights of their families.
Under the new law, sex offenders cannot display Halloween decorations and outside lighting specifically on October 31.
Under Megan’s law, sex offenders are also forced to display a sign on their front door that reads “No candy or treats at this residence.”
One hundred and nineteen registered sex offenders live in Simi Valley, many of whom have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes and therefore do not have their names displayed on public lists. Sixty-seven sexual predators have been found guilty of more serious crimes, and they are listed on sex registry websites.
City officials tell the Los Angeles Times that they approved the law as a preemptive measure after similar ordinances were adopted by other Southern California cities. In city documents, officials say Halloween provides “significant opportunities for sex offenders to victimize children.”
The Simi Valley Halloween lawsuit was filed by five registered sex offenders, three of their wives, and two of their children. The prosecution plans to ask for an injunction since Halloween is only four weeks away.
The sex offenders listed in the lawsuit say they are most worried about the sign that is now required to be placed on their front door, especially when they are not publicy listed on sexual predator websites.