Sex offenders in the Peach State are suing a local sheriff’s office for putting warning signs on their lawns, in what appears to be an effort to keep children away on Halloween.
The Butts County Sheriff’s Office originally placed the signs in October of 2018, issuing around 200 of the placards and placing them in the lawns of registered sex offenders.
The following month, the signs were picked up by the BCSO, who plan on issuing them out again this year.
Several sex offenders, represented by attorney Mark Yurachek, felt embarrassed by the signs- and their lawyer claimed that the BCSO violated their rights by placing and collecting signs on their property without consent.
“I understand that there are a lot of people who think this is a great idea, who think, ‘Yeah, this protects my kids,’ but what they should be thinking about is, “Does this protect my rights?’” Yuracheck stated.
According to the Daily Mail, the lawyer claimed that alerting the public to the presence of sex offenders (beyond the obligatory registration process Georgia has) could put people in danger and be a slippery legal slope.
“It’s easy to pick on these guys because nobody really wants to see anything done for a sex offender,” he said.
Butts County Sheriff Gary Long stated that the signs were to protect children after scheduled Halloween celebrations were cancelled by the local chamber of commerce, prompting more kids to go trick-or-treating.
“My office took precautions and placed signs indicating ‘No Trick or Treat’ at each registered sex offender’s residence in the County,’ the sheriff’s statement read. “This was done to ensure the safety of our children.”
Long stated that regardless of how the judge rules tomorrow in the federal lawsuit, he will protect the children of his county with all legal means at his disposal.
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