CONCORD, N.H. – CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire sex offender is asking the state's highest court to allow him to go to church with a chaperone.
The case of 35-year-old Jonathan Perfetto of Manchester marks the first time the New Hampshire Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether a probation condition that effectively bars church attendance violates a person's constitutional rights to religious freedom.
Perfetto was convicted in 2002 of possessing child pornography. A condition of his probation is that he have no contact with children. A lower court denied Perfetto's request to attend Jehovah's Witnesses services with a church elder acting as a chaperone.
The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union and Perfetto maintain the chaperone would eliminate any risk to children. The state says public safety trumps Perfetto's religious rights.