Lawsuit challenges Halloween sex offender requirement

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SAN DIEGO — The group California Reform Sex Offender Laws and a sex offender on parole filed a lawsuit in San Diego federal court Wednesday challenging a requirement that sex offenders on parole post a sign on the front door of their home on Halloween, as required by the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“CDCR’s requirement that all parolees post a sign on the front door of their residence violates the First Amendment because it compels speech,” said Janice Bellucci, attorney for the plaintiffs. “The sign requirement also places in significant danger the lives of sex offenders and those with whom they reside.”

According to CDCR, the sign requirement is part of “Operation Boo,” which the department conducts every year at Halloween. “Operation Boo” has the stated purpose of protecting children as they trick or treat.

“The sex offender plaintiff in this case was convicted of a single sex offense before 1985 that did not involve a child,” Bellucci said. “The plaintiff has not committed or been convicted of a sex offense for the past 30 years and yet CDCR is requiring him to post a sign on the front door of his home. This is a solution without a problem.”

Bellucci said CDCR’s sign requirement is based on “myth” not facts.

“The facts are there are no reports in California of a sexual assault upon a child who goes trick or treating,” Bellucci said.

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