Banned From Church, NC Sex Offender Goes To Court

A North Carolina man is challenging a state law aimed at keeping people like him away from children. The case pits the right to worship against laws that restrict where convicted sex offenders can go.

Police arrested James Nichols in March after he attended a Sunday service at a church in Moncure that offers day care.

Nichols was twice convicted of indecent liberties with a teen girl and again in 2003 for attempted second-degree rape.

Many of the three dozen states that establish zones where sex offenders can't live or visit don't provide exemptions for churches.

Advocates agree some convicted sex offenders should never be allowed around children. But they say barring all offenders denies them support needed to become productive citizens.

A similar lawsuit is pending in federal court in Georgia.

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