N.H. sex offender sues for right to attend church

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – 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.

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~ by thmjklmstrymn on June 22, 2010.

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