62 sex offenders in Gaston Co. ordered to courthouse for Halloween

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - For the sixth straight year, Gaston County sex offenders who are on supervised probation were ordered to the courthouse to keep them away from kids on Halloween night.

Sandy Holland with the North Carolina Department of Corrections says 62 sex offenders were ordered to come to the courthouse from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday night.

Parents in Gastonia's South Pines neighborhood who were out with their kids for Halloween say they strongly support law enforcement making the offenders go to the courthouse.

"I think that speaks highly for them, that they're taking care of our kids," said parent Gina Montoya.

Authorities say it's good for kids and the sex offenders themselves.

"We know where they are, and that way nobody can say, 'well they were doing this, they were doing that,'" said Captain Darrell Griffin with the Gaston County Sheriff's Office.

But one sex offender say he doesn't think law enforcement does enough to distinguish truly dangerous sexual predators from those who aren't.

"I didn't go out looking for little kids," the man, who did not give his name, said.  "It wasn't nothing like that."

The man says back in the 1990s he became a registered sex offender after sleeping with a girl who was 15.  He was in his twenties at the time.  He says the girl lied about her age and said she was older.

In addition, he says the then 15-year old girl is now his wife, and they have two kids together.

"Now she's out trick or treating and I'm here, so my kids are like, 'where's daddy?'" he said.

The man says while some of the men who were forced to come Monday night are a danger to society, he doesn't feel he is.

But authorities say although the courts distinguish between sexual predators, repeat sexual offenders, and cases like the man we talked to, for the Halloween event they don't distinguish.

"The judge determined they were a threat to society, and it's our job within the Department of Correction to adhere to what the judge's orders are," said Holland.

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