The Simi Valley City Council voted to overturn a law that was meant to protect trick-or-treaters from sex offenders.
Simi Valley, CA – The Simi Valley City Council voted on Monday to repeal a law that was put in place to protect children from sex offenders.
The city council says that their decision was based on their belief that the ordinance wouldn’t stand up against a lawsuit which was filed against the city and police department.
The ordinance specifically targeted registered sex offenders and was meant to keep young children away from them on Halloween.
Under the ordinance, registered sex offenders were prohibited from answering their doors to trick-or-treaters, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The ordinance also prohibited them from decorating the outside of their homes, which could attract children, and they were required to have their outdoor lighting off from 5 PM to midnight on Halloween.
With the ordinance gone, no law prohibits sex offenders from attracting trick-or-treaters to their house.
The law was initially passed in 2012, but the city has since seen two lawsuits defending sex offenders’ right to give candy to children.
Janice Bellucci, the executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, filed the latest lawsuit to stand up for sex offenders.
With no clear path to victory for the city, they saw no choice but to eliminate the law.
The lawsuit against the city will now be dismissed.
Nobody had been cited under the ordinance since it was enacted in 2012.
The city is now adopting a new strategy to protect children from the sex offenders.
Mike Harris with Ventura County Star reports that Mayor Bob Huber said the news plan is “a very proactive way to approach the protection of our children. We’ll be sending the link to the Megan’s Law site for our residents to locate and therefore avoid going to homes of registered sex offenders.”
Huber, who is an attorney, is the one who initially created the now-repealed ordinance but said that the courts had been striking down similar ordinances for years, and that requires them to change their strategy.
Only 97 of the city’s 165 registered sex offenders will be listed. The site excludes offenders of certain sex crimes, such as indecent exposure.