Can convicted sex offenders in Virginia pass out candy on Halloween?
ARLINGTON, Va. - With Halloween right around the corner, parents are probably planning out their kids' costumes and getting them ready for a fun night out of trick-or-treating. But have you thought about how well you know the neighborhoods they will be going to and the doors they will be knocking on?
FOX 5 has found there at least 25 registered sex offenders just within a mile from an Arlington neighborhood. We were able to find that information on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry website.
According to Virginia law, convicted sex offenders on probation supervision are not allowed to take part in any Halloween activities such as trick-or-treating, passing out candy, decorating their homes or even leaving their porch lights on.
This restriction only applies if the offender's probation prohibits contact with children. In some counties, it is referred to as a "no contact order."
However, state law also says that if a convicted sex offender is not on supervision, then they are entitled to participate in trick-or-treating and other Halloween activities.
"It's something that you may not think about and it probably needs to be brought to the attention of parents just so that they can kind of take a look and make sure they know where their kids are going and who their kids run into on the way and just be more educated about it," said Christine Luchetti. "You have to have awareness. You can't control everything, but if you have an awareness and you have the proper information, you are that much better equipped to take care of your child."
To find out if you live near a registered sex offender, go to http://sex-offender.vsp.virginia.gov/sor/
Virginia State Police say they will be going out on Halloween night with other patrol units checking on supervised convicted sex offenders to make sure they are not violating their probation and are not in contact with kids.