Halloween not a treat for all

Jeff Schmucker

A new state law limiting sex offenders from participating in Halloween is now less restrictive.

However, Maryville and Nodaway County law enforcement officials agree they, and you, can watch to help ensure offenders follow the new law and everyone has a safe trick-or-treating experience.

Earlier this year, a law was approved that forbade registered sex offenders from participating in any related Halloween activities -- essentially putting them on house arrest for the evening.

Those listed also have to turn off their porch light and post a sign that that reads, “No candy or treats at this residence.”

However, earlier this week a federal judge ruled the law was vague and unenforceable to restrict them from “all” Halloween activities.

Offenders still have to post a sign between 5 and 10:30 p.m. today and turn off their porch lights during those hours.

With 13 offenders listed in Nodaway County -- 12 in Maryville and one in Pickering -- Sheriff Ben Espey said his deputies would be checking to ensure offenders in the county were abiding by the law.

“We’re going to have a deputy patrolling each of the townships, so if there’s any problem people should feel free to flag one of them over,” Espey said. “They’ll check into it."

Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Wood said his officers would be out and about for Halloween, but said he wasn’t expecting to go and check on each of the offenders.

“I think the neighbors who live near them will be observing what they do,” Wood said. “We‘ll respond to any complaints.”

A violation of the new law is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. It would also be a possible probation violation.

For more information on local sex offenders, go to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Web site at

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