No Trick or Treating for Sexual Predators - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Perry County, IL

No Trick or Treating for Sexual Predators

No Trick or Treating for Sexual Predators
By:  Arnold Wyrick

Perry County, IL -- Think it's safe to send your kids around the neighborhood this Halloween?  Do you really know who will be anserwing the door?  Well one real danger lurking in the shadows won't be allowed to take part in Halloween activites in Illinois.

That's after Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a new law into affect on July 11, 2005.  Public Act 94-0159 prevents anyone who is a registered sex offender from passing out candy on Halloween, dressing up as Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny.  Or taking part in holiday acitivities where children 18 years of age and younger are present.

"In Perry County we've noticed more and more sexual abuse cases occurring with children.  And we can't always protect the children from predators that we don't know about.  But we can let the public know  about the predators we do know about," says Du Quoin Police Dispatcher Melinda Foster.

Foster oversees all the administrative monitoring of registered sex offenders in Du Quoin for the department.

"The parents need to be aware of who their children come in contact with.  And make sure that person is safe for them to be around," Foster said.

The Du Quoin Evening Call joined forces with the police department and printed all of the registered sex offenders names, their adresses, and the crimes they were convicted of,  who are registered within the county, on the front page of their newspaper.

"It doesn't matter to me.  I don't have any problem with that.  I'll be working anyways," says William Cochran of Du Quoin.  Cochran must register as a sex offender after he was found guilty for aggravated criminal sexual assault of a child between13 and 17 years of age.

Some adults we talked to though, did have a strong opinion about sexual predators coming into contact with kids.

"It's just doesn't seem right.  If they've been in trouble before for messing around with kids and stuff, they shouldn't be around to be able to be around them," says Charles Mifflin of Du Quoin.

It was 2 years ago this Halloween, when James Joseph took two little girls who were walking home from school into the woods and sexually assaulted them.  Joseph was caught one week later after a lenghty manhunt throughout the county.  Joseph was a registered sex offender living in Tamaroa at the time of the assaults.


 

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