Parents in Louisiana's Washington and St. Tammany parishes need not worry about their children unknowingly accepting candy from a registered sex offender this Halloween. The police departments in those parishes--near New Orleans, north of Lake Ponchartrain--now require sex offenders to place signs at their homes to warn parents and children to stay away.
In Louisiana, it's against the law for convicted sex offenders to wear a costume, put up decorations, leave porch lights on or distribute candy to anyone younger than 18 on the holiday. Such offenders are also prohibited from answering the door if trick-or-treaters come calling.
The signs -- which communicate to revelers that no tricks, treats or candy are available, without spelling out why -- were donated by local businessman Greg Gaunt, owner of the Graphic Centre in Covington, La.
"I was shocked with the number of sex offenders in St. Tammany Parish," Gaunt told the Times-Picayune.