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June 30, 2009

Court Says No to Barre's Sex-Offender Residency Restrictions

Hagan A Washington Superior Court judge has ordered the city of Barre not to enforce an ordinance that limits where sex offenders may live, WPTZ is reporting.

A preliminary injunction was issued this morning by Judge Helen Toor, which stopped the city from forcing a 29-year-old convicted sex offender from vacating his current residence. The offender, Chris Hagan (pictured, with wife Amy), was convicted of lewd and lascivious behavior with a 15 year old when he was 18.

Sally West Johnson profiled Hagan in the June 17 issue of Seven Days. As she points out in her story:

"No Easy Answers," a report published by Human Rights Watch in 2007, takes issue with the notion that imposing residency restrictions can prevent sex crimes. In fact, the authors argue, "among laws targeting sex offenders living in the community, residency restrictions may be the harshest as well as the most arbitrary. The laws can banish registrants from their already established homes, keep them from living with their families, and make entire towns off-limits to them, forcing them to live in isolated rural areas."

Photo by Jeb Wallace-Brodeur.

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