Sex Offenders: They're not banned from trick-or-treating, but should they be?

AMHERST, Ohio -- Should registered sex offenders be banned from celebrating Halloween?

While some states have laws that ban registered sex offenders from answering the door for trick-or-treaters, Ohio does not, which means local municipalities must decide on their own how to handle Halloween.

When the Village of Orwell in Ashtabula County recently passed an ordinance banning sex offenders from answering the door to children trick-or-treating on or around Halloween, an Amherst city official thought it was a good idea to discuss a similar ordinance.

In Orwell, sex offenders are also prohibited from putting up Halloween decorations, but that part of the law has been challenged as unconstitutional in other states.

Amherst city council member Phil Van Treuren wants to enact a similar law in Amherst in Lorain County.

Van Treuren is discussing the idea with the law director, police chief and other city officials.

Several Amherst residents told WCPO sister station, NewsChannel5 in Cleveland, that they think the ordinance would be a good idea and serves as a reminder about general safety regarding children.

Van Treuren said the ordinance would also prohibit sex offenders from turning on exterior lights during trick or treat hours.

There are a dozen registered sex offenders in Amherst, but there were more than 20 at one time in recent years in the town of more than 12,000 people.

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