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Mar 16, 2015 4:27 PM

Tilton voters repeal residency limits on convicted sex offenders


TILTON - Would you want convicted sex offenders living close to your child's school or day care center?

Of course not, but Tilton is the latest New Hampshire community to discover these residency restrictions can't survive lawsuits against them.

Over the weekend, Tilton voters repealed the town's ordinance to keep offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school, day care center or bus stop.

"Everyone is fearful of the sex offender," said state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, D-Manchester. "I've got three children, I've got nine grandchildren, one great-grandchild. No one wants one of them to be the prey of some predator."

Courts have already ruled residency restrictions in Dover and Franklin were unconstitutional.

"What the courts held in those cases that there wasn't sufficient evidence to show these restrictions actually benefit public safety," said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire legislature has been slow to act. For three years, some lawmakers have tried to pass a law making these bans illegal.

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