Should This Sex Offender Take Down His Halloween Display? Neighbors Say Yes

| by Khier Casino

Neighbors in North Carolina are reportedly concerned that a convicted sex offender has put up Halloween decorations in his front yard and the display may attract children.

Robert Richard Barnes, 53, of Stanley, is a registered sex offender, convicted of taking indecent liberties with a minor, WSOC-TV reports.

Neighbors say the yard is not the only thing they are upset about. Barnes has also been spotted walking along the street wearing a costume a couple of days ago, but he can do so as long as he’s is not near day cares, schools or playgrounds.

Gaston County Sheriff’s Office tell WSOC that there is nothing they can do about the display because the law does not prohibit sex offenders from decorating their homes.

"As it stands right now, nothing under the law gives us any authority to take any action that he is putting up any type of Halloween decorations," Sheriff Alan Cloninger told WCCB.

Officers said they will continue to keep an eye on Barnes to make sure he does not turn his lights on and interact with children during trick-or-treating.

Barnes has been on the registry for about 14 years and officers say they have never had any problems with him.

“He has followed all of our rules and regulations,” Cloninger said.

Sources: WSOC-TVWCCBNorth Carolina State Sex Offender Registry