SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — Don’t take candy from strangers. But what about sexual offenders?
The Simi Valley City Council decided on Monday night to overturn a law aimed at protecting children from sexual predators. City leaders say the law wouldn’t stand up in a legal appeal so they killed it.
There will now be nothing to stop registered sex offenders in Simi Valley from interacting with trick-or-treaters. So when Halloween rolls around in a couple of weeks, parents say they’ll be a lot more vigilant.
The ordinance involved registered sex offenders on the California Megan’s Law website. The law says they can’t answer their doors to trick-or-treating children, can’t decorate the outside of their homes or front lawns and are required to turn off outdoor lighting from 5 p.m. to midnight on Halloween.
“As a mom I would support something like that,” said Simi Valley resident Cindy Cole at the council meeting.
“People are very angry over some of these acts that these type of people have committed,” said Chelsea Watson of Simi Valley.
Mayor Bob Huber and the city council enacted the law in 2012, but since then two federal lawsuits have been filed saying the law is unconstitutional.
In response to the latest one filed on Sept. 18 and seeing that the law is hard to defend based on cases across the state, city officials recommended repealing it and they did Monday night.
“I definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing that my son was trick-or-treating at a sex offender’s house,” said Watson. “However I think we need to think of the ramifications of making that person visible to the community.”
Since the ordinance was repealed Monday night, the lawsuit filed on Sept. 18 will be dismissed.
The city attorney added that since the law was passed in 2012 there have been no arrests, no citations and no prosecutions.