People love to do spooky things around Halloween, but it’s all really for good fun. However, one man named Scott Neff was planning a haunted house at his residence this year, and it raised some red flags. The problem is that he’s registered as a former sex offender. A photo of the haunted house sign on his door showed that “Door opens at 7pm Oct 31.” Whoever made the sign decorated it with a “bloody” red handprint, and “blood” splatters.
When local media from Albuquerque, New Mexico, got wind of this story, they headed to the man’s house and did some digging. According to KOB4, Neff said that his previous charges were for this reason.
“I got on the registry basically because I was fighting my sexuality at the time and I ran across a young man who was also and we got together.”
However, further investigation showed that Neff pleaded guilty in 1996 of “two counts of criminal sexual penetration, two counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor and one count of criminal sexual exploitation of a minor.” The details also revealed that Neff reportedly “molested and created child pornography with the boys under his care.” At the time, he was a licensed foster parent.
And while a former sex offender hosting a haunted house for kids might seem illegal to some people, it’s not. A spokesperson from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said that “if a sex offender is not on probation or parole and is in compliance with the Sex Offender Registry, there is no state law restricting their activities. Neff is not on probation or parole.”
For instance, be mindful of the candy you hand out. https://t.co/heFzfqQcht— Reader's Digest (@readersdigest) October 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Neff says that it wasn’t his idea to hold the haunted house, but rather his roommate, Randy’s. And although the law doesn’t mind if the two host the haunted house, the roommate was seen taking down the signs as the news station was leaving.
“I don’t want issues. I don’t want people to think of us like that. That happened a long time ago with him,” Randy noted.
And this isn’t the only instance that has some parents concerned. The Boston Herald reminded people that “Halloween is like Christmas for sex offenders.” This is what attorney Wendy Murphy had to say.
“[Sex offenders] know they’ll have lots of access to kids and that they can’t get in trouble even though they’re required to stay away from children.”
The laws do, however, vary by state. For example, sex offenders in the following states are not allowed to give out candy on Halloween: Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. So parents in those states don’t have to be as cautious as in other places. And in California and New York, police are given extra authority to show up unannounced to sex offenders’ homes on Halloween.