JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police are serious about keeping sex offenders from being in contact with children on Halloween.
One man once convicted of molesting a child decorated his house, dressed up as Spiderman on Thursday night and headed out trick-or-treating with her daughter. A second offender was arrested simply for turning on his porch light and not posting a "No candy or treats here sign."
James Agee and John Nelson, both convicted sexual offenders, were arrested on violations of a strict Jacksonville ordinance that bars sex offenders from all Halloween-related contact with children.
Agee, 43, was convicted of sexual battery on a child in Levy County in 1995. State law requires sex offenders to register their addresses. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement database shows him living on Challeux Drive South in East Arlington. Police accuse him of putting up exterior decorations, providing candy, dressing up and failing to display a "No candy" sign.
Agee was at home Friday afternoon when News4Jax went by the house where he lives with his girlfriend and daughter. He said that's why there are Halloween decorations on the home.
Agee said he was heading out to take his young daughter trick-or-treating when an officer stopped him before he left the property.
"I was about to go walking with my daughter, whom I have 100% custody of from a judge, to let her have a good Halloween," Agee said. "The state says that if you’re not on probation, which I haven’t been on probation for more than a decade, then you can do what you need to do."
But the city has additional restrictions on sex offenders, particularly on Halloween.
Agee said he's paid his debt to society and is still being punished.
"I’m a family man who is 43 year old who made a mistake when I was 18-years old," Agee said. "I’m trying to live a life just like you and everybody else out there, but nobody wants to let me live that life. They want me to be a dog. They want to treat me like a dog and treat me like I’m the scum of the Earth.”
Under Florida law, a registered sexual offender is required to register for life unless he or she has received a full pardon or received post-conviction relief.
Nelson, 61, was convicted in Duval County of sexual battery on a child under 12 in 1989. FDLE shows he lives on Nicholas Circle East in Spring Park. He is accused of having his porch light on and failing to display a sign on Halloween night.
For violating the city ordinance, the two men will have to go before a county judge. If convicted, they could get time in jail.
Two Arrested for Sexual Offender Violations on Halloween— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) November 1, 2019
Violations: Exterior decorations displayed, candy provided, dressed in costume, no sign stating “No Candy or Treats Here”
Violations: Porch light on, no sign stating “No Candy or Treats Here” pic.twitter.com/D4gex8MRAI