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Lawmakers OK bill barring sex offenders from dressing as Santa

Lawmakers OK bill barring sex offenders from dressing as Santa

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SPRINGFIELD, ILL • Child sex offenders will be prohibited from dressing up as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny under a measure passed by the Illinois Legislature today.

The bill, which proposes to charge a Class 4 felony to child sex offenders participating in any holiday events involving children, passed the House unanimously today, and will be sent to the governor's desk.

The bill would make an exception for offenders whose crimes didn't involve instances of force, the victim was at least 13, and the offender was less than five years older than the victim. Those so-called "Romeo & Juliet" cases have become a point of contention recently, with some critics saying they don't belong on the state sex-offender list with child-rapists.

The bill is SB3579.

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