Sex Offender Claims Religious Rights Denied - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Sex Offender Claims Religious Rights Denied

CONCORD, N.H. - A New Hampshire sex offender is asking the state's highest court to allow him to go to church with a chaperone. The case of 35-year-old Jonathan Perfetto of Manchester marks the first time the New Hampshire Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether a probation condition that effectively bars church attendance violates a person's constitutional rights to religious freedom.

Perfetto was convicted in 2002 of possessing child pornography. A condition of his probation is that he have no contact with children. A lower court denied Perfetto's request to attend Jehovah's Witnesses services with a church elder acting as a chaperone.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and Perfetto maintain the chaperone would eliminate any risk to children. The state says public safety trumps Perfetto's religious rights.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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