A registered sex offender is challenging a state law, pitting the right to worship against laws that restrict where convicted sex offenders can go.
Police arrested James Nichols of Fayetteville in March after he went to a Sunday service at a church that offers day care. Nichols has lived in Eastern Carolina, in the past, including in Washington and Hertford. Many of the three dozen states that establish zones where sex offenders can't live or visit do not provide exemptions for churches. Advocates agree some convicted sex offenders should never be allowed around children, but they say barring all offender denies them support needed to become productive citizens.