At the turn of the calendar year, it's not uncommon for a whole host of new Missouri or Illinois laws to go into effect. This year, however, Illinois residents will want to be familiar with a new restriction on some individuals subject to sex offender registration in that state.
The new law makes it unlawful for child sex offenders to participate in holiday events involving children under 18 years of age. In addition to this sweeping general provision, the new law restricts three specific holiday activities that child sex offenders will no longer be allowed to participate in.
First, child sex offenders will no longer be permitted to distribute candy or other items to children on Halloween. There is a similar law in Missouri that was the subject of an earlier post in this blog -- now the prohibition exists in Illinois too.
Also, child sex offenders will no longer be allowed to wear a Santa Claus costume on or before Christmas and they will also not be allowed to work as a department store Santa Claus. The same type of condition exists for Easter, as offenders are forbidden from dressing as the Easter Bunny.
These restrictions apply to a specific set of individuals subject to Illinois post-conviction registration. Namely, this new law applies to those who are certified as sexually dangerous those who are under 18 years of age.
There are already many consequences for being added to the Missouri and Illinois sex offender registries. In addition to the curtailment of employment opportunities this new law provides, there is also heightened scrutiny from law enforcement and neighbors.
For those accused of sex offenses, the best option is to present a strong defense early in the case. This effort could minimize the chances of being included on the sex offender registry.
Source: redOrbit, "New State Laws For 2013 Include Everything From Social Media To Computer Driven Vehicles," Jan. 2, 2013