Tuesday, June 18, 2013

SD - Brown County considers measure to keep sex offenders away from fair

Original Article

This is exactly like the Halloween mass hysteria that is carried out each year.


By Scott Waltman

A measure that would keep sex offenders away from the fairgrounds during the annual Brown County Fair likely will be considered by county commissioners in the weeks to come.

Larry Lovrien, Brown County state's attorney, proposed the resolution. Commissioners took no action during their Tuesday meeting.

There are many fair events, from 4-H activities to carnival rides, that are geared toward children, he said. At the same time, there are vendors and volunteers who work at the fair who are on the sex offender list, he said. The aim of the proposal is to keep the fairgrounds safe for kids.

To accomplish that, Lovrien suggested that commissioners consider declaring the fairgrounds a public park or playground each year during the fair. After the fair, the grounds would cease to be a park or playground, according to a sample resolution he gave commissioners.

Were the fairgrounds to be declared a public park or playground, it would be considered a community safety zone, Lovrien said. By law, sex offenders aren't allowed within 500 feet of community safety zones.

Lovrien said there hasn't been a way for the sheriff's department to address the problem of sex offenders at the fair in past years. But he also said it's not his intent to have those people arrested the first time they're spotted at the event. He said he would ask the sheriff's office to tell sex offenders to leave the first time. If there were subsequent problems, they could be arrested and charged, he said.

Under Lovrien's proposal, signs designating the fairgrounds as a community safety zone would be put up at entrances during the fair to deter sex offenders from going on the grounds.

There are some details that would need to be worked out with the resolution. For instance, Lovrien said, the 500-foot restriction would impact a housing development just north of the fairgrounds. But, he said, he thinks a solution could be found for that problem.


Mark said...

Six Flags in Massachusetts; and Disney World in Orlando denies entrance to any sexual offender. And the trend continues to go on-and-on. The parks argument will be this in my view: "this is private property, therefore we can allow/deny whom we wish on our land! Wait and see.

Lynne Clapper said...

...but not how to keep drug offenders away from fair. ...how about arsonists, or purse snatchers.... or MURDERERS, because people are ALWAYS getting murdered at the fair!

deathklok said...

Once again a fear monger makes a proposal of a solution for which there most likely is no problem. I didn't see the article stating that there has been a rash of registrants running amok raping or molesting innocent 4-H'ers and ring tossers.

Of course one of the details they'll need to work on is how in the heck they'll enforce this. Are they going to card everyone at the gate and run a background check on them or will this be on an honor system?

I can only imagine how dumb it would sound if the best that this law did to earn its merit is if a sex offender tried to kidnap or molest a young fair goer than they could stack a misdemeanor onto the felony charges he'll be facing.

nathan rabalais said...

Hello brown south Dakota lets wake up here when it comes to fairs because majority of the time it's the shady looking man whose running the ride you gotta watch out for when it comes to these traveling carnivals not the people in your neighborhood

nathan rabalais said...

well hell who else will they have run the rides and con people out of money at the game stands

Mark said...

And Lynn, there in lies the "rub." Sex offenders as pawns; no doubt you are correct. What a fertile filed to sell dope, pick pockets, and such!!!! But in my view, no one stands up for sexual offenders. Where are the picket signs, sex offenders gathering in major protests? Writing letters to the management, heating up and watch the media flock to these type of gatherings.