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Sex Offenders Sue Over Halloween Signs

Butts County Sheriff Gary Long is accused of "exceeding his authority"
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2019 6:00 PM CDT
Updated Oct 23, 2019 6:30 PM CDT
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(Newser) – "No trick-or-treat" signs placed on the lawns of Georgia sex offenders last year have triggered a lawsuit—against the local sheriff, NBC News reports. "Warning! No trick-or-treat at this address!" the signs read, with a red circle and line over a trick-or-treat bag. Filed by a group of registered sex offenders, the lawsuit accuses Butts County Sheriff Gary Long of "exceeding his authority" and causing "anxiety, embarrassment and humiliation" in posting the signs. But Long sees it differently: "My office took precautions and placed signs indicating 'No Trick or Treat' at each registered sex offender’s residence in the County," he said on Facebook, per WXIA Atlanta. "This was done to ensure the safety of our children."

"I'm just not sure that this kind of action makes your kids any safer," the attorney for the offenders, Mark Yurachek, tells Fox5DC. "It just makes your constitutional rights less safe." Yurachek also accuses the sheriff's office of trespass and says Long has "many legal avenues" for publicizing the names, addresses, and even photos of sex offenders. But Long dismissed the claimants as "some sex offenders that's not happy" and had plans to do it again this year. The class-action suit, which says it represents all registered sex offenders in the county, seeks damages and jury trial. Long is expected to argue his case Thursday in federal court. (Read more sex offenders stories.)

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