***UPDATE THURSDAY 2:30 P.M.***The Cole County Sheriff’s Department conducted checks on sex offenders Wednesday night to ensure they were in compliance with the law. A 2008 law states that certain sex offenders must follow certain rules, including avoiding contact with children, staying indoors through the evening, turning off porch lights, and hanging a sign on the door that states there is no candy in the home.Deputies checked 19 offenders and found 14 to be compliant with the law. Two offenders did not follow the signage requirement, but made corrections immediately. Three offenders were not home, but two had their locations verified and still met the law’s exceptions.Deputies say they are still investigating the whereabouts of the third offender that was not home.”We made contact, located, or left information with all of the offenders,” said Sheriff Greg White in a statement. “With them knowing we do check up on them, their compliance increases.”Any offender that does not obey the law can be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.***UPDATE 8:30 P.M.*** As kids headed out to trick-or-treat, ABC 17 News followed up on how safe their neighborhoods are. A 2008 law requires some registered offenders to follow certain rules on Halloween night, including avoiding contact with children, staying indoors through the evening, turning off porch lights, and hanging a sign on the door that states there is no candy in the home.ABC 17 News checked in with several sex offenders’ homes and found a few of them breaking the rules.”It’s a scary feeling to even know that one is out there,” said one parent.Any sex offender convicted after August 2008 must follow the laws on Halloween night.The houses that ABC 17 News checked did not display any signs on the home, but all of the houses did not have any outdoor lights on.Some parents said they were not happy to hear about this, but said kids will be safe if parents keep an eye on them.”I go with my kids up to the houses, I stand there and tell them not to get too close,” said a parent. :”You know, let them come out so I keep an eye on my kids.”The Boone County Sheriff’s Department told ABC 17 News they did not conduct any sex offender checks Wednesday night, but they will respond to incidents that come up.***ORIGINAL STORY***As thousands of children hit the streets to trick-or-treat, ABC 17 News is checking on their neighborhoods.A law requires all registered sex offenders to follow specific rules on Halloween. Those who have been convicted must:- Avoid all contact with kids- Remain inside from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.- Post a sign on the door saying there is no candy at the home- Leave all outside lights off after 5 p.m.Therefore, it is important for parents to remind kids to only go to home with lights on.In Boone County alone, there are over 280 registered sex offenders. The county offers a map to show where those offenders live.If a registered sex offender violates any of the rules, they are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
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