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A sex offender in New Hampshire is asking the state’s Supreme Court to grant him permission to attend church with a chaperone, according to the Associated Press.

Jonathan Perfetto, 35, spent seven years in prison after pleading guilty to 61 counts of child pornography. As part of his probation, Perfetto is not allowed to have any contact with children. Now the state Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether his probation is infringing on his constitutional right to religious freedom.

Perfetto maintains that being escorted by a church elder who acts as a chaperone would ensure the safety of children at the church in Manchester, N.H. The state’s lower court initially ruled against him, but the case has been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Currently 36 states have established zones where sex offenders cannot live or visit, and some provide exceptions for churches. [, 6/20/10]

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