A law prompted by a pottery shop could make it harder for some sex offenders to start a business in St. Louis, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Approved late last month, the law prohibits individuals convicted of a sex offense against a minor from opening a business that caters to children. The legislation was sparked by complaints from residents about a convicted child molester moving his ceramic studio into their area. Some say the law crosses the line: It is so broad, one critic warns, it could prevent those targeted from operating virtually any type of business.
“Common sense says that if you were convicted of something of this nature,” said Alderman Donna Baringer said, “that you would know better than to have a business that would make it so you’re around children.” The law was proposed after Purple Turtle Ceramics changed location; The business is run by a twice-convicted sex offender, Daniel Becker. Becker did not know about the new law until approached by a reporter. He said his store does not cater to children, although he does offer ceramic “parties.” Becker says children who do come into the store are not allowed to be left unattended – a rule that protects both him and them, he said.