Albuquerque, New Mexico | October 29, 2018
The National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) announced today that it has organized a nationwide Halloween hotline which aims to hold local governments, law enforcement agencies, and parole/probation officers accountable if the constitutional rights of law-abiding, registered sex offenders are violated under the pretext of protecting the public on Halloween.
The Cop-Watch Hotline will be active from 5-10 pm EST on Wednesday, October 31, as part of the NARSOL in Action Halloween Marathon. Information on the program schedule, how to register, how to call in with questions or to report an incident, or just listen to segments of the program can be found here.
NARSOL’s communications director, Sandy Rozek, explained, “Despite the fact that we are unable to find a single incident of a registered sex offender assaulting or abducting a child on Halloween, local governments and media continue to fan flames of fear and hysteria by singling out people on the sex offender registry for intrusive scrutiny, draconian restrictions, and possible harassment or violence on Halloween. To ensure that the constitutional rights of law-abiding registered people are respected, we’ve organized a team of attorneys who will be available during a live conference call on Halloween to respond to questions and to take reports of abusive actions against registrants and their families.”
Some of the more egregious examples of abusive policies that NARSOL has responded to in the past have included the posting of signs in registrants’ front yards, restricting registrants to their own homes with the lights off (even when they have children of their own), and the rounding up of parolees and probationers for temporary detention during Halloween activities.
“This year,” Rozek continued, “we have already received reports from Suffolk County, New York, and from the Eastern Region of New Mexico and parts of Texas of registrants being required to take off work early or make arrangement to be absent from work altogether in order to submit to house arrest, in NY beginning at 3 p.m., or to report for confinement at a parole office. This affects a family’s income, their livelihood. This is the sort of thing we need to hear about.”
“It’s much ado about nothing,” said NARSOL’s vice-chair Robin Vander Wall. “Every credible study overwhelmingly demonstrates that more than 90% of the sexual assaults which occur this Halloween will be committed by someone already known and trusted by the victim and not by anyone on the sex offender registry. Stranger-danger is mostly a myth. But it’s a myth that has terrible ramifications for registrants by making them targets of official harassment and vigilante violence. We know law enforcement will be monitoring us closely on Halloween. This Halloween hotline is our way of saying: That’s fine, but we’re going to be watching you guys, too.”